McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE: MCD) is making several additions to its core menu, including chicken McWraps and a Hot ‘n Spicy McChicken sandwich.
The world's biggest hamburger chain said it will be offering the new sandwich wrap in three varieties — Chicken & Bacon, Sweet Chili Chicken and Chicken & Ranch. While the products may seem new, they bear a striking resemblance to the McDonald’s Snack Wrap, which also comes in Chicken & Ranch.
The Oak Brook, Ill.-based chain even said the McWraps use the same type of flour tortillas and chicken as its snack wraps, which were introduced in 2006. The differentiating factor is that two of the new McWraps will come with cucumbers, which the company says will mark the first time the vegetable will be part of its core menu. The wraps range from 360 to 600 calories, depending on whether people pick grilled or deep-fried chicken.
McDonald’s has reportedly been beefing up its menu in an effort combat Subway’s “Eat Fresh” offerings. According to Ad Age, as cited by Business Insider, sources "familiar with the situation" say that the wrap is even referred to as the "Subway buster."
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In addition to stepping into the ring with Subway, McDonald’s is seemingly looking to go head-to-head with The Wendy’s Company (Nasdaq: WEN) as the Old Fashioned Hamburger chain prepares to roll out its Flatbread Grilled Chicken Sandwiches in two varieties; an Asiago Ranch flavor will have 530 calories and the Honey Mustard flavor will have 370 calories.
Dan Coudreaut, director of culinary innovation of McDonald's, says the wraps will be a new "platform" and that different varieties are already in the pipeline.
"It's the benefit of McDonald's being a global system," he said, noting that the company can take successful items from around the world and adapt them to other markets. The Sweet Chili Chicken McWrap, for instance, was first offered in Australia.
McDonald's has been stepping up the pace of its new menu offerings as it struggles to grow sales in the challenging economy. Last year, the company ousted the head of its U.S. division after a monthly sales figure fell for the first time in nearly a decade.