Another year, another flurry of new fast-food innovations. As usual, some of these products were quite good, some were decidedly bad, and others were neither good nor bad, but just plain weird. We rounded up four new fast-food products in each of those categories.
For all the gimmicks and “throw everything against the wall and see what sticks” products that have come out this year, there are some clear trends that prove the fast-food industry is heading in the right direction. For example, chains have taken major strides in focusing on higher-quality ingredients and increased transparency, with McDonald’s experimenting with fresh beef, removing preservatives from items including McNuggets, rolling out buns without high-fructose corn syrup, and introducing antibiotic-free chicken. Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. also became the first fast-food chains to offer all-natural chicken and beef.
But for all the legitimately welcome developments, there will always be products that are complete head-scratchers. Most of the world’s craziest fast-food items come out of international markets like Japan and Singapore, but this year saw some new American product launches that were bizarre in their own right. And sadly, there were also some new releases that were widely panned.
Read on for the four best, worst, and weirdest fast-food creations of 2016. All of these were released to the American market, and though some were limited-time offerings, all were released nationally and not only in select markets. Even though on the whole fast-food offerings keep getting better and better, there will always be ones that simply don’t make the cut.