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McDonald's adds two new menu items, including spicy McNuggets

The fast food spicy fried chicken battle is heating up.
Spicy Chicken McNuggets and Mighty Hot Sauce are hitting U.S. menus at McDonald's this fall, along with a new McFlurry flavor.
Spicy Chicken McNuggets and Mighty Hot Sauce are hitting U.S. menus at McDonald's this fall, along with a new McFlurry flavor.McDonald's

McDonald’s is debuting two new menu items that will bring plenty of heat and something cool and sweet to customers in an effort to boost falling sales due to coronavirus impacts.

The fast food giant said it will add Spicy McNuggets and a Chips Ahoy McFlurry, complete with crushed cookies and caramel swirls, to its menu for a limited time beginning September 16.

This is the first time in the burger chain’s history that it has added a new type of McNugget to the menu in the United States, according to Linda VanGosen, vice president of menu innovation at McDonald’s.

“As our customers have been asking for Spicy McNuggets for some time now, we couldn’t think of a better time to bring them to our menus,” VanGosen said in a statement. “We can’t wait for McNuggets fans to get a taste of these new spicy options.”

While fast food fans will have to wait a few more weeks before trying the new McNuggets, McDonald’s offered up a tease about how they’re made.

The new Spicy McNuggets are breaded with a tempura coating that includes cayenne and chili peppers to give them an extra kick compared to their classic counterparts, according to a statement from the company. Of course, a new McNugget also calls for a new dipping sauce.

“Mighty Hot Sauce,” McDonalds’ first new sauce since 2017, is being offered as the condiment for the Spicy McNuggets. The sauce comes with a blend of chili peppers and is being billed as “the hottest one available at McDonald’s.”

This isn’t the first time McDonald’s has brought heat to the menu. Fast food competitors have already had success with their own variations of spicy chicken nuggets. Burger King brought back its spicy nuggets on May 14 for a limited time to plenty of fanfare.

“Quarantine day 59: sick of same old, same old? Same. So spice up your quarantine with 8 white meat spicy chicken nuggets for $1,” the company wrote in an Instagram announcement.

Wendy’s pulled its spicy nuggets from the menu in 2017. After a surge of social media support for the removed item, the company announced it would return.

“Positive Affirmations for today: I WILL have a good day, I Will succeed today. Wendy’s WILL bring back spicy nuggets at some point,” Chance the Rapper wrote on May 4, 2019. “Please please Lord let it be today.”

Judging by the popularity of spicy nuggets, it’s likely McDonald’s could have a hot new menu item to boost sales during what has been a difficult time for the restaurant industry.

In its second quarter earnings report for the period ending June 30, McDonald’s reported a financial impact due to stores operating at a limited capacity or closing during the height of the pandemic. The company said revenues fell 30 percent in the second quarter to $3.76 bullion. Global same-stores sales also fell by 23.9 percent, although sales continued to improve throughout the quarter.

McDonald’s is also trying to win the confidence of customers by touting new safety measures, including its work with the Mayo Clinic to ensure proper sanitation protocols are followed in restaurants and at the drive-thru, as well as requiring customers who step inside its 14,000 U.S. locations to wear a face covering.