McDonald’s adds spicy chicken nuggets to menu in September

Spicy Chicken McNuggets will be added to McDonald's menus for a limited time at participating locations.

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Under increasing pressure to release a competitive chicken product, McDonald’s is putting a spicy spin on an old classic beginning September 16.

Spicy Chicken McNuggets will be added to the quick service restaurant’s menu in participating locations for a limited time. The chicken nuggets are breaded with a tempura coating made of both cayenne and chili peppers and can be ordered in four different piece offerings.

“This is the first time we’ve introduced a new flavor of our classic Chicken McNuggets in the U.S. since they came to menus in 1983,” the brand’s Vice President of Menu Innovation, Linda VanGosen, said in a statement. “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. We can’t wait for McNuggets fans to get a taste of these new spicy options.”

The QSR is also adding the Mighty Hot Sauce, a powerful blend of red peppers and spicy chilis, and a Chips Ahoy! McFlurry to its lineup.

Promised innovation in chicken

Earlier this year, McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski promised customers that “some more innovation in chicken” would be coming by the end of the year.

“We’re certainly working on ways that we can update and upgrade our chicken offering in the U.S. Suffice to say we will continue to be competing and innovating in chicken,” Kempczinski told Time.

“I don’t want to get too into revealing competitive secrets, but I think we are feeling good about where we’re at, and we look forward to bringing the customers some more innovation in chicken.”

The brand has been under pressure to release a competitive chicken product for at least a year. In July 2019, the board of the National Owners Association (NOA), a group of McDonald’s franchisee owners, called chicken sandwiches a top priority for the brand to help bring in more customers and better compete in the chicken sandwich wars, which has boosted sales for the entire QSR chicken market.

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