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McDonald’s Has 10 Million Extra Pounds of Mighty Wings

McDonald’s Has 10 Million Extra Pounds of Mighty Wings

The chain might have been a little optimistic with its inventory

Dan Myers

Mighty wings are tasty, but not selling.

Who wants 10 million pounds of wings? McDonald’s might have a big-time disaster on its hands, as a whopping 10 million pounds of Mighty Wings are currently sitting in cold storage, with no takers.

As the chain was ramping up to release the wings as a limited-time offer this summer, they put in an order for 50 million pounds to be distributed to outposts throughout the country. But now the "limited time" has come to an end, and they’re left with 20 percent of their original order.

This nightmare certainly qualifies as one of McDonald’s biggest all-time flops, and it’s largely due to three factors: one, the wings were selling for about $1 a piece, making them quite expensive; two, most people already know what they’re going to order when they walk into a McDonald’s and just don’t associate the chain with wings; and three, while they were tasty they were just too spicy for some.

So what’s next? The chain is planning another promotion soon, according to the Wall Street Journal, where they’ll be selling three wings for $2.99. Doesn’t quite look like a fire sale, though, does it?


Don’t call it a test, since it’s unlikely that the wings will come back nationwide. We contacted McDonald’s to confirm the news, and they told us that “the juicy, bone-in chicken wings are in a bold, spicy breading and available until mid-June.”

On Twitter, people in Atlanta are rather confused about this.

If you eat wings from McDonald's I'm sure you'll eat actual feces

&mdash A.J. (@AJ_Phx) April 27, 2016

Attention all #ATLiens….Mighty wings, I repeat, #MightyWings are back @McDonalds! That is all. Lol

&mdash Mista major (@MistamajorMan) April 27, 2016

Atlanta was one of the early test markets for Mighty Wings back in 2012, and apparently the product was successful enough there to revive it four years later.

Elsewhere on the limited-time menu, some McDonald’s restaurants in the San Jose area are offering garlic fries meant to coincide with the famous garlic festival in Gilroy, CA. The fries have chopped locally grown garlic as a topping, and are apparently “not bad.”

The McDonald's by evergreen has garlic fries and they were bomb as fuck and McKee one doesn't have them I'm so sad

&mdash lilly (@Lillyyflowerrr) April 26, 2016


McDonald's Has To Get Rid Of 10 Million Pounds Of Mighty Wings

The wings, which represent 20% of the chicken wings produced for a promotion, are in frozen storage, writes Julie Jargon at The Wall Street Journal.

McDonald's was "unable to sell enough," according to Jargon.

Earlier this year, CEO Don Thompson said that the chicken wings aren't the smash success it had hoped for.

While Mighty Wings apparently met internal targets, the item "was not strong enough to offset" weak sales trends, Thompson said on a conference call.

Here are some of the reasons they flopped.

  • Price: In McDonald's terms, Mighty Wings are a premium product. The wings come in packs of three for $3.69, five for $5.59, and 10 for $9.69. Thompson said the prices, which are similar to Buffalo Wild Wings, were “not the most competitive.”
  • Spice: Thompson said the wings were too spicy for many customers' tastes.
  • Appearance: The Mighty Wings looked too much like "McNuggets with bones," writes Susan Berfield at Bloomberg Businessweek.
  • Economy: Many McDonald's customers are still struggling financially—and are more likely to spend their hard-earned money on a tried-and-true favorite.

The fast food giant is currently implementing a plan to get rid of the wings.


Popeye’s and McDonald’s Both Want a Piece of Buffalo Wild Wings' Business

These days, every quick-service restaurant is looking to get in on the chicken wing craze. After all, look what chicken wings did for Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:BWLD) (NASDAQ:BWLD) and its shareholders: shares are up more than 87% in the past year. Shares of Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen parent AFC Enterprises (NASDAQ:PLKI) are up slightly more than 37%, while shares of McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) have lagged the market and are up only 7% in the past year.

Could chicken wings be the menu innovation to get shares of AFC Enterprises and McDonald's to fly like Buffalo Wild Wings?

Foray into wings not going as well as expected
McDonald's Mighty Wings promotion has not taken off like the company expected. Matter of fact, Mighty Wings ended up being a dud. A big reason for this was that McDonald's priced itself out of the market. The prices for Mighty Wings were on par with prices at Buffalo Wild Wings--the wings were priced at three for $3.69, five for $5.59, and 10 for $9.69. Consumers were just not willing to pay Buffalo Wild Wings prices at McDonald's. The other problem with Mighty Wings was that many customers found them to be too spicy.

The end result is that McDonald's and its franchisees are sitting on 10 million pounds of unsold wings. To sell its remaining supply of Mighty Wings, McDonald's is going back to the original offer of three for $2.99. If McDonald's wants to be in the chicken wing business, it looks like it needs to go back to the drawing board (or in this case the kitchen) and cook up a new batch of wings for its menus.

Not looking to be left out of the chicken wing market
Considering that Popeye's is known for its fried chicken, it makes sense for the chain to have wings on its menus but now Popeye's is looking to "out buffalo" the buffalo wing with its new Bayou Buffalo Wicked Chicken. According to Popeye's, "[P]acking flavor on flavor from the inside out, Popeye's starts with the Louisiana-style buffalo marinade, then the thin strips of tender, juicy, all white meat are sauced and tossed in our Bayou Buffalo sauce and fried up fresh. Bayou Buffalo Wicked Chicken is served with Popeye's new Bleu Cheese Dipping Sauce, regular fries, and a biscuit for only $3.99 through [Jan.] 26."

Buffalo Wicked Chicken is a smart move by Popeye's and its timing is perfect with the NFL football playoffs. This promotion should also help keep same-store sales running strong--in the third quarter, same-store sales rose an impressive 5.1% across all global locations. Popeye's continues to grow as well, with the chain opening 33 net new locations in the quarter.

It's all about the wings
When us Fools think of wings, the first restaurant that comes to mind is Buffalo Wild Wings. The chain was built around chicken wings, but Buffalo Wild Wings, or B-Dubs, is also known for its burgers, sandwiches, appetizers, and plenty of beer and alcohol to watch your favorite sporting events. Each location has more than 30 flat screens to stay on top of the action.

Buffalo Wild Wings has really focused on its drinks menu to get customers in the door. The latest move is that the chain is swapping Coca-Cola products for PepsiCo, which gives Buffalo Wild Wings the chance to offer products from PepsiCo's snack division like Doritos-flavored chicken wings. B-Dubs has also partnered with Craft Brew Alliance and has rolled out its own draft beer called Game Changer. This focus has certainly worked, as the chain serves more draft beer than any other chain restaurant in the U.S.

Foolish assessment
McDonald's has the lowest P/E multiple at 17 and has the highest dividend yield at 3.3%. AFC Enterprises is next and is trading at 25 times earnings. Buffalo Wild Wings is considered a growth stock and has the highest multiple, trading at 40 times earnings. For value investors, McDonald's looks to be the best bet with its low P/E and high dividend yield.

Buffalo Wild Wings has plenty of growth ahead, but its shares will be more volatile due to its high P/E. AFC Enterprises looks to be the sleeper among the three, but that might be about to change as Popeye's has been posting impressive same-store-sales numbers. It's certainly a stock to watch.


McDonald's Mighty Wings Return for 60 Cents a Piece

For anyone not privy to McDonald's embarrassing Mighty Wings fiasco, here's what you've missed. Last summer, McDonald's unveiled a new spicy deep fried chicken wing which originally sold for nearly $1 each. Too pricey and spicy for customer tastes', however, the MW's floundering sales ultimately left franchisees with over 10 million pounds of unsold wangs — 20% of the original order of 50 million pounds.

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Now, as promised, McDonald's HQ has finally concocted a new deal to move the extra birds along. For a limited time, Mighty Wings will be available at all participating locations at five wings for $3, or 60 cents per wing. Considering the wings' size and comparative quality, this is a surprisingy good value, and hopefully enough to end the Mighty Wings disaster once and for all.

That's assuming we all ignore the fact that the wings have been sitting in frozen storage the past few months — well under the FDA recommended guidelines for quality and safety, for sure, but still a little "ew."


Mighty Wings Return at Lower Price

"You will see wings again in the U.S. business," McDonald's Corp. CEO Don Thompson vowed last October in an earnings call with analysts. And he makes good on that this week with a limited-time revival of Mighty Wings at what McDonald's hopes will be a more attractive price: five for $3.

Mighty Wings were introduced last year at roughly $1 per wing, a price that was immediately and effectively undercut by KFC and others. Thompson admitted as much in the October call, saying, "Mighty Wings resonated with consumers but performed at the lower end of our expectations." One factor that could be fixed, he said, was price. "$1 per wing was still not considered to be the most competitive in the current environment."

Many McDonald's franchisees complained about the high pricing for Mighty Wings. As BurgerBusiness reported last October, the Janney Capital Markets survey of McDonald's operators found much dissatisfaction. Good product too expensive," was the opinion of one McDonald's operator. "Hard to sell for $1 per wing when we still have the Dollar Menu," said another. "Pricing seems high when many retailers are offering for as low as 25¢ at happy hour," said a third.

Now that McDonald's has expanded its Dollar Menu & More to include many burger options at $1 or $2, the $3 Mighty Wings may again seem not a value.

Thompson also said Mighty Wings may have under-performed because "the flavor profile was slightly spicy for some consumers." But that doesn't seem to have been adjusted. Packaging for Mighty Wings calls them "Spicy. Bold. Delicious."

Thompson said McDonald's expected to sell 35 million pounds of wings. But The Wall Street Journal reported that 10 million pounds of wings -- about 20 percent of McDonald's stock for the promotion -- remained in freezers awaiting a pricing thaw. Now it's here.


Popeye's and McDonald's Both Want a Piece of Buffalo Wild Wings' Business

These days, every quick-service restaurant is looking to get in on the chicken wing craze. After all, look what chicken wings did for Buffalo Wild Wings and its shareholders: shares are up more than 87% in the past year. Shares of Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen parent AFC Enterprises are up slightly more than 37%, while shares of McDonald's have lagged the market and are up only 7% in the past year.

Could chicken wings be the menu innovation to get shares of AFC Enterprises and McDonald's to fly like Buffalo Wild Wings?

Foray into wings not going as well as expected
McDonald's Mighty Wings promotion has not taken off like the company expected. Matter of fact, Mighty Wings ended up being a dud. A big reason for this was that McDonald's priced itself out of the market. The prices for Mighty Wings were on par with prices at Buffalo Wild Wings--the wings were priced at three for $3.69, five for $5.59, and 10 for $9.69. Consumers were just not willing to pay Buffalo Wild Wings prices at McDonald's. The other problem with Mighty Wings was that many customers found them to be too spicy.

The end result is that McDonald's and its franchisees are sitting on 10 million pounds of unsold wings. To sell its remaining supply of Mighty Wings, McDonald's is going back to the original offer of three for $2.99. If McDonald's wants to be in the chicken wing business, it looks like it needs to go back to the drawing board (or in this case the kitchen) and cook up a new batch of wings for its menus.

Not looking to be left out of the chicken wing market
Considering that Popeye's is known for its fried chicken, it makes sense for the chain to have wings on its menus but now Popeye's is looking to "out buffalo" the buffalo wing with its new Bayou Buffalo Wicked Chicken. According to Popeye's, "[P]acking flavor on flavor from the inside out, Popeye's starts with the Louisiana-style buffalo marinade, then the thin strips of tender, juicy, all white meat are sauced and tossed in our Bayou Buffalo sauce and fried up fresh. Bayou Buffalo Wicked Chicken is served with Popeye's new Bleu Cheese Dipping Sauce, regular fries, and a biscuit for only $3.99 through [Jan.] 26."

Buffalo Wicked Chicken is a smart move by Popeye's and its timing is perfect with the NFL football playoffs. This promotion should also help keep same-store sales running strong--in the third quarter, same-store sales rose an impressive 5.1% across all global locations. Popeye's continues to grow as well, with the chain opening 33 net new locations in the quarter.

It's all about the wings
When us Fools think of wings, the first restaurant that comes to mind is Buffalo Wild Wings. The chain was built around chicken wings, but Buffalo Wild Wings, or B-Dubs, is also known for its burgers, sandwiches, appetizers, and plenty of beer and alcohol to watch your favorite sporting events. Each location has more than 30 flat screens to stay on top of the action.

Buffalo Wild Wings has really focused on its drinks menu to get customers in the door. The latest move is that the chain is swapping Coca-Cola products for PepsiCo, which gives Buffalo Wild Wings the chance to offer products from PepsiCo's snack division like Doritos-flavored chicken wings. B-Dubs has also partnered with Craft Brew Alliance and has rolled out its own draft beer called Game Changer. This focus has certainly worked, as the chain serves more draft beer than any other chain restaurant in the U.S.

Foolish assessment
McDonald's has the lowest P/E multiple at 17 and has the highest dividend yield at 3.3%. AFC Enterprises is next and is trading at 25 times earnings. Buffalo Wild Wings is considered a growth stock and has the highest multiple, trading at 40 times earnings. For value investors, McDonald's looks to be the best bet with its low P/E and high dividend yield.

Buffalo Wild Wings has plenty of growth ahead, but its shares will be more volatile due to its high P/E. AFC Enterprises looks to be the sleeper among the three, but that might be about to change as Popeye's has been posting impressive same-store-sales numbers. It's certainly a stock to watch.

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Mark Yagalla has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Buffalo Wild Wings and McDonald's. The Motley Fool owns shares of Buffalo Wild Wings and McDonald's. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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McDonald’s New Mighty Wings Strategy: Break Even

There’s a chicken wing clearance sale going on at McDonald’s. This week the chain began promoting its Mighty Wings at a new price of $3 for five wings, or about 60¢ each, compared with the original price of $1 per wing. That’s a 40 percent discount. At this price, McDonald’s will either break even or take a slight loss on the product, according to Nick Setyan, vice president in charge of equity research at Wedbush Securities.

Mighty Wings will be sold at the discounted price “until supply runs out,” spokeswoman Lisa McComb wrote in an e-mail.

“They’ve paid for those wings. If they don’t sell it, they would have to eat the entire loss,” Setyan said in an e-mail. “It’s really the only sensible option at this point.” McDonald’s declined to comment on the profitability of the wings. Even so, Setyan estimates that the new price reduces operating margins on wings by about 10 percentage points.

Disappointing sales left the Golden Arches with roughly 10 million pounds of frozen wings�out 20 percent of what the chain purchased𠅊t the end of 2013 after Mighty Wings launched nationally in September.

“The original price point wasn’t as competitive as it could have been,” according to McComb. Although some consumers found the wings too spicy, the recipe has not changed there’s “just more awareness that they have a little kick to them.”


The 8 biggest product fails of 2014

By Sage McHugh
Published December 28, 2014 6:00PM (UTC)

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This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

Over the past year, some of the most hyped products, even those that showed promise, either turned out to be huge failures or still had quite a few kinks to work out. While some products weren’t as great as advertised, others were poorly marketed and quickly dropped off the consumer radar. From gimmicky gadgets that don’t work to unpopular fast food, here are the biggest product flops of the year.

1. Amazon Fire Phone. Just one month after debuting the device at a press conference in Seattle, Amazon slashed the price of the Fire phone from $199 to just 99 cents. It seems Amazon’s foray into the smartphone market came way too late. The Fire phone was introduced seven years after the original iPhone and six years after the first Android device, making it a wild card in a well-established market. Such a newbie would need superior technology to lure Apple and Android users to switch operating systems, but the Fire’s features were lackluster. It’s no surprise Amazon was stuck with $83 million worth of unsold Fire phones in October.

Like its competitors, Amazon wanted to lock Fire phone users into its own apps and products. But unlike Android or Apple, Amazon went to a whole new level by installing a “Buy” button on the side of the phone. Another major setback for Amazon is its limited choice of apps: 240,000 versus more than 1 million apps on Google Play and iTunes. To stand out from the competition, Amazon loaded the Fire phone with a flashy interface that creates a 3D effect on the homescreen, but reviewers were underwhelmed. Fortune blames some of its failure on its high price, and says “selling the Fire for $200, the industry standard, ran contrary to Amazon’s long-held, company-wide strategy of undercutting the competition.”

2. Detergent-free laundry systems. Detergent-free laundry units, like PureWash ($300) and Washit ($400), were a great idea in theory. Not only are they less harmful to the environment, they could also help consumers save time and money. That is, if they actually worked. In March, Consumer Reports put both systems to the test to see if they cleaned as well as they claimed to. PureWash and Washit work by squirting ozone, a disinfecting oxidant, into the cold wash water. According to PureWash’s website, “Ozone kills micro-organisms found in soiled laundry (kills bacteria 3,000 times faster than bleach).” Consumer Reports placed fabric swatches soiled by culprits such as mud, blood and grass, into both washers. The results were disappointing. “Devices were only a bit better than plain water at tackling soils,” says Consumer Reports. They ran a second wash test using a very small amount of standard laundry detergent, as the user manuals suggest. Testers saw no improvement in either system’s cleaning performance. Consumer Reports also notes that it could take anywhere from eight to 11 years to go through an inexpensive, standard laundry detergent, so the money savings isn’t too great, especially on a product that doesn’t work well.

3. Ello. Dubbed the anti-Facebook, this startup company began to gain momentum as a cooler and more socially conscious online community. On August 7, it opened to the public on an invite-only basis. Ello has many features that would appeal to an audience that’s fed up with Facebook: no ads, no personal data-mining, a minimalist design and a lenient name-use policy that allows users to register under a pseudonym. Yet the ideals that set it apart are the same reasons so many tech experts are predicting its failure. Even though Ello recently received $5.5 million in venture capitalist funding, it’s still a small company running on idealism in an online community dominated by a massive corporation. In an article on Slate, Bradford Cross, co-founder and CEO of Prismatic, compares trying to beat Facebook at its own game to “trying to beat Google in search.”

Users aren’t thrilled with Ello’s clunky, counterintuitive interface either. Even those who’d like to stray from Facebook ending up staying because they can’t find enough people they know on Ello. Why? Because everyone is already on Facebook.

4. Fitbit Force. In February, Fitbit recalled its Force wristband after many users complained that it caused skin irritation such as rashes and blisters. The wearable activity tracker had only been on the market a few months and was doing well before the voluntary recall. Although Fitbit offered Force owners a full refund and free return shipping, a class action lawsuit was filed in California. The suit called for Fitbit to contact and issue a refund to every Force owner in the state, as well as fully disclose the cause of the skin irritation. Fitbit quickly redeemed itself, launching several new and improved products, like the Charge HR and the Surge, which were designed and tested to make sure the chances of skin irritation were significantly reduced. Despite the stumble, Fitbit remains the leader in the activity tracker market, with “more than 70% of activity trackers sold in the U.S. in the 12 months ending in September were made by Fitbit,” according to market research company NPD Group.

5. Burger King’s Satisfries. In August, Burger King took Satisfries off the menus in two-thirds of its franchises in the U.S. and Canada. Burger King gave each franchise the option to continue selling them, but only about 2,500 of the 7,400 restaurants decided to keep them. Satisfries debuted in September 2013 as a “healthier” alternative to regular fries, but they never caught on. Perhaps it’s because Burger King’s health claims were pretty dubious. Satisfries were supposedly fried in a less porous batter that absorbed less oil. However, when compared with a small order of McDonald’s fries, a small order of Burger King’s Satisfries actually contained 40 more calories: 270 versus 230 calories. At $1.89, a small order of Satisfries also cost more than a small order of Burger King’s regular fries ($1.59). Burger King didn’t post any signs in its restaurants explaining the difference between the two, so many customers weren’t even aware of Satisfries, let alone their alleged health benefits.

6. Google Glass. In the first half of 2014, Google was touting Glass, a pair of high-tech glasses that scan your surroundings and beam relevant information to your retina, as the must-have product of the near future. But after conducting more testing, Google realized that Glass couldn’t function as seamlessly as it once thought. Constantly processing and pulling up all that material would need a far larger battery than the average smartphone has, and it would also eat up way too much cellular data. Glass has received endless criticism from the start due to its bulky and distracting design, from legitimate critics to this spoof on “The Daily Show.” Even the beta version users, referred to as Google Glass Explorers, say the eyewear is prone to breaking. What’s more, it’s hard to justify a $1500 price tag on a product that doesn’t work properly.

Google may not have given up on Glass, but several companies, including Twitter, have halted efforts on creating apps for it. Without any definite date for a consumer launch, it’s safe to say Glass fell short of any mass-market success in 2014.

7. Nike FuelBand. In the wearable tech market, the Nike FuelBand was yet another contender that quickly ran out of gas. On April 18, CNET reported that Nike had laid off a good chunk of the team behind the FuelBand, which included 55 engineers and other development specialists, spiking rumors that Nike would completely withdraw from the wearable tech world. In 2013, The NPD Group estimated wearable fitness trackers to be a $330 million market and Nike FuelBand only made up for about 10% of sales.

BusinessWeek cites a bulky design as the main reason the FuelBand falls so far behind Jawbone and Fitbit in popularity. Marcus Wohlsen at Wired points out another major flaw: When it comes to tech, Nike has failed to set itself apart from the competition. The FuelBand has no unique features that give it an edge on other wearable fitness trackers, or even smartphones for that matter. “Other fitness tracker makers have done more than Nike to market their devices as multi-purpose lifestyle tools, rather than the single-focus exercise product synonymous with the Nike brand,” says Wohlsen. If consumers simply want to track their activity, they can do it on their phones there is no need for an extra device.

8. McDonald’s Mighty Wings. McDonald’s Mighty Wings were another short-lived and underwhelming fast-food item. In February, McDonald’s announced the return of the Mighty Wings, which were intended as a seasonal fall menu item in 2013. However, the wings were not back by popular demand. This was McDonald’s attempt to get rid of 10 million pounds of unsold frozen wings at a deep discount. Overestimating the success of the Mighty Wings when they were introduced last year, McDonald’s bought about 50 million pounds of wings in preparation for their limited-time promotion. The wings didn’t fly with consumers, so 20% of that huge inventory was left unsold. To cut its losses, McDonald’s offered the remaining stock at $3 for five wings, or about 60¢ per wing, as opposed to the original price of $1 per wing.


McDonald's Mighty Wings Prove Feeble With Customers

McDonald’s has been trying pretty much everything to fight off the competition. The world’s biggest burger chain has added chicken McWraps, egg-white McMuffins, and blueberry pomegranate smoothies to its U.S. menu. It is testing something called the Dollar Menu and More that will have offerings that cost as much as $5. All this fall customers have been able to order pumpkin-spice lattes and the much-heralded Mighty Chicken Wings. Next month the company is even adding books to its Happy Meals.

But none of it appears to have moved the sales needle. On Monday the fast-food behemoth reported that third-quarter comparable sales at its roughly 14,000 U.S. restaurants rose only 0.7 percent.

So what happened with those Mighty Wings? A quick review for those who haven’t seen them: They look like McNuggets with bones, they are flavored with cayenne and chili pepper, and they come with creamy ranch, honey mustard, and tangy barbecue sauces. The Mighty Wings have been available since September and will remain on the menu until November, and they cost about a dollar per wing.

Don Thompson, McDonald’s chief executive, said that the Mighty Wings “resonated with customers,” but he allowed that there were a couple of issues with the new item. First, the wings were just too expensive—or, as Thompson put it, the price was “not the most competitive.” Second, the flavoring made the wings too spicy for some consumers.

Nonetheless, even a modest success at McDonald’s involves big numbers: The company expects to sell 35 million pounds of wings this fall. And for those worried about the fate of chicken wings at McDonald’s, Thompson said, “You will see wings again.”


Watch the video: Mighty Wings Commercial (October 2021).