McDonald’s has launched two new super-sized sandwiches in April, with the emphasis on “super.”
According to a report from Fortune online, the new introductions are being marketed as the Grand Big Mac and the Giga Big Mac.
Both are similar to the classic burger built, as the famous ad jingle reminds us, with two beef patties lettuce, cheese, pickles, and special sauce.
Only these Big Macs really bring the beef.
The Grand Big Mac features patties larger than the original by almost one-third in terms of the amount of meat.
And the Giga Big Mac features almost three times as much beef meat as an original Big Mac, containing four — count ’em — four beef patties packed in between the buns.
In a news release, McDonald’s described the new burgers as a “suitable option” for patrons who want “a satisfied sense of accomplishment.”
My sentiments exactly.
And to accompany the launch, McD’s is introducing new super-super-sized French fries and soft drinks options, both of them a full size bigger than the largest portion previously offered on the menuboard.
The new introductions have been on sale at selected McDonald’s restaurants since April 6 — but only for a limited time. The new sandwiches will be removed from franchisee’s menus towards the end of the month, and the participating stores are serving only a limited number of these items each day.
There’s one other problem for anyone with a yen for sampling a Grand or Giga Mac: They’re only available in Japan.
Innovation on the menu
In fact, McDonald’s Japan is well-known for regularly adding unique, limited-time-offer items to its menu. Check out these innovative products:
- The “McChoo Potato,” which are french fries topped with white and dark chocolate sauce.
- The “Chicken Cheeseburger,” which is pretty much as described.
- A “Cream Stew Pie,” which is pie dough filled with potatoes, mushrooms, bacon and onions, similar to the familiar Hot Pockets.
As intriguing as those choices might be, if you love fried chicken, and you happen to be a Japanese pop music fanatic, you’ve really got something else to celebrate: The announcement that McDonald’s Japan is offering a 48-piece bucket of Chicken McNuggets.
In the United States, you’re limited to a 40-piece McNuggets meal (barring the special deal offered during the recent Super Bowl L, when customers could order 50 nuggets in commemoration of the game’s 50th anniversary).
Even worse, most Japanese McDonald’s stores cap their Chicken McNuggets meals at 15-pieces per satisfied patron, according to the news source Kotaku. So a 48-piece order of McNuggets can really kick off the party.
But wait — there’s more. The super-sized Chicken McNuggets buckets feature photos of the J-Pop group NGT48 (see photo), an all-girl pop band of 25 singers, which for those who are hip to the genealogy of Japanese pop music, was spun off from AKB48, another popular J-Pop band.
Apparently, social media chatter dubbed NGT48 as “Nugget 48” when the group debuted, according Kotaku, which, of course, made the marketing tie-in with McDonald’s Japan a no-brainer.
The buckets also come with several of the 25 collectable cards featuring the Nugget 48 stars.
Kids, be the first one to collect them all.
So here’s my questions:
First of all, why aren’t these Japanese specials offered in the USA? Not necessarily collectible cards featuring NGT48 — although with the popularity of anime and manga, there would be plenty of adolescents eager to collect them — but something trendy to accompany the festive appeal of a big ol’ bucket of Chicken McNuggets.
Assuming that most folks ordering what amounts to a several pounds of breaded chicken are planning a party.
Or maybe just binge-watching Netflix on a Thursday evening. Either way, collectible cards give you something to read as you’re polishing off the entire bucket.
But chocolate-covered french fries? C’mon. That’s a no-brainer. Vegetables and dessert, conveniently packed into a single tray.
Second question: With Giga Big Macs, chocolate fries and chicken cheeseburgers — not to mention giga buckets of nuggets — why has McDonald’s Japan been consistently underperforming?
Don’t Japanese consumers know that when it comes to fast-food, bigger is better?
Dan Murphy is a food-industry journalist and commentator