McDonald’s is looking to leverage a powerful weapon it didn’t fully realize it had until earlier this year: Big Mac Special Sauce. But since the new McMantra is “The simpler the better,” make that simply Mac Sauce.
On Sept. 23, 2016, McDonald’s Corp. filed a federal trademark registration for “Mac Sauce.”
McDonald’s standard response on trademark filings has been that it routinely files intent-to-use trademark applications “as a regular course of business” and can’t share details on it possible uses. But given events of the recent past, it’s possible to speculate on how this trademark will be put to use.
One possible use would be to take Mac Sauce to grocers’ shelves through the partnership with Kraft Foods Group that took McCafé coffee there in 2015. In June, McDonald’s began offering a Sriracha Mac Sauce (notice that it’s not “Big Mac Sauce”) with its Signature Crafted Recipes customization test in West Coast markets. Sriracha Mac Sauce would be a supermarket natural.
Or McDonald’s itself could go retail itself and sell Mac Sauce at its restaurants. In Australia in January, McDonald’s made 4,000 16-oz. bottles of Big Mac sauce available (below) for just $4.99 at 40 of its restaurants across the country. They reportedly sold out in minutes, with bottles later appearing on auction sites.
Many chains are selling their sauces in supermarkets. The most recent to take the plunge was Steak ‘n Shake, whose packaged BBQ, Frisco and Buffalo sauces are on shelves as of last month.
Finally, McDonald’s could put Mac Sauce in tubs, as it does with honey, BBQ and other dipping sauces, so it can be added to other sandwiches or eaten with fries. McDonald’s tried just that in Australia this year.
Earlier this year, KFC introduced spicy Nashville Hot Chicken to its menu. It was a hit, so it was only a matter of time before a burger chain gave it a try.
That chain is Jack in the Box, which has a Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich in test in Las Vegas, according to the video review site PeepTHISOut.
Priced at $4.99 alone ($6.69 in a small combo), the sandwich is a crispy white-meat chicken patty with hickory-smoked bacon, American cheese, pickles and a spicy Nashville Hot Sauce in toasted sourdough bread.
Speaking of KFC, the chain is expanding its breakfast menu in the UK. The chain today (Oct. 10) is introducing a mother-and-child-reunion breakfast sandwich called the Chicken AM there. Could it work here?
Priced at £2.49 ($3.10), the Chicken AM (below) has an Original Recipe chicken plank with smoked bacon, a freshly cracked egg and cheese on a floured bun. It’s available from 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
A larger breakfast menu—including a bacon roll (£1.75/$2.18) and a bacon and egg roll (£1.99/$2.47)—goes into a 10-store UK test.
And as if the world weren’t scary enough already, the black-bun burger is alive at Burger King Singapore. Behold the Zom-B in Pepper Beef or Pepper Tendergrill Chicken with a bun blacked by black pepper.