In the Battle for Breakfast, McDonald’s Adds New Bakery Items

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McDonald’s is adding a new lineup of McCafé Bakery items to its menu, the company said today, the latest salvo in the breakfast wars that are heating up among the major fast-food chains.

In addition to a lineup of well-known savory items such as the Egg McMuffin, McDonald’s is offering breakfast goers three new choices, including a blueberry muffin, a cinnamon roll and an apple fritter beginning Oct. 28. It’s the first addition of baked goods to its core menu in more than eight years, McDonald’s said.

“McDonald’s has been famous for our savory breakfast menu for almost fifty years,” said Linda VanGosen, vp of brand and menu strategy in the U.S., in a statement. “We’re continuing our breakfast innovation by adding tasty new sweet options with our new McCafé Bakery lineup. We know our customers deserve a break now more than ever, and are excited to give them another reason to visit their favorite breakfast destination by offering delicious flavors they crave, any time of the day.”

The announcement comes roughly two months after the quick service restaurant revealed results for the second quarter that disappointed investors. McDonald’s acknowledged at the time that breakfast was a challenge, in part due to new competition. Dunkin’ and Starbucks also cited challenges for the morning day part of their businesses.

Wendy’s launched breakfast nationally for the first time in early March with a whole lineup of new menu items, including a maple bacon chicken croissant and a honey butter chicken biscuit, putting pressure on the competition. As of the end of its second quarter, the restaurant operator said that breakfast already constituted 8% of system sales.

McDonald’s new offerings will not only help bolster breakfast, they will also be offered throughout the day. That should also help increase sales as consumers embrace snacking over meals. According to data analytics firm IRI, 44% of consumers it surveyed said they snacked rather than ate meals at work or home.

The company equated the new menu items with the introduction of the Egg McMuffin in 1971, breakfast burritos in 1991, McGriddles in 2003 and McCafé premium roast coffee in 2009.

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