In recent months, really since the pandemic, McDonald’s (MCD) – Get Free Report has been a bit stingy when it comes to new releases. The fast-food giant has made a few small menu additions, and it did bring back the McRib for a supposed farewell tour, but aside from the seasonal addition of the Shamrock Shake, new limited-time-offers (LTOs) have been pretty sparse.
Mostly, the chain has been focusing on using deals and special offers based on existing menu items to drive people to download its app. That was the core of company’s Camp McDonald’s promotion last summer and it has been the chain’s focus since the pandemic forced it to focus on menu simplification.
Instead of chasing customers with new LTOs, McDonald’s did things like offer menu hacks as actual menu items and having cheaper prices when customers use the app. That has allowed the chain to build a massive audience of digital customers which helps smooth out its workflow.
Having people place orders digitally removes the human factor when it comes to mishearing or mis-entering an order. It allows McDonald’s market to those customers, driving traffic to slower day parts.
That has been a smart strategy for the chain, but it’s not nearly as exciting as offering a new menu item. Now, as it kicks off 2023, McDonald’s has brought back a fan-favorite menu item although it’s unclear exactly how wide the release will be.
McDonald’s Brings Back Blueberry Pie
McDonald’s actually has a pretty limited dessert menu. It offers ice cream cones, sundaes, and its famed McFlurry. There are also chocolate chip cookies, shakes, and of course, the baked apple pie.
Occasionally, McDonald’s has offered other pie flavors and now, at least at some locations, it has brought back its Blueberry & Creme Pie, Chew Boom reported.
“The Blueberry & Crème Pie features blueberries and vanilla flavored crème layered side by side in McDonald’s premium pie crust, baked until crispy and served warm. You can find the seasonal treat at select participating McDonald’s locations for a limited time,” the website shared.
Various reports of the pie being spotted around the country have popped up on social media.
McDonald’s also brought back the Blueberry & Creme Pie around this time in 2022, which was its first return to the menu since 2017.
Digital Is Still a Big McDonald’s Driver
CFO Ian Borden explained the company’s key strategy in the United States during the chain’s third-quarter earnings call.
“The modernization of our state combined with strong discipline and execution across our core menu and backed by award winning marketing is connecting with customers and driving results,” he said.
Digital was a major driver of those efforts.
“Loyalty remained a significant growth driver for the quarter, in part fueled by the Camp McDonald’s promotion,” he said. A year after the launch of my McDonald’s rewards in the U.S. we continue to increase digital customer frequency quarter-after-quarter of the customers that have engaged with the app over the last year, about two thirds have been active in the last 90 days.”
Digital sales have led to higher average checks for the chain.