While U.S. consumers wait for McDonald’s to change up its Quarter Pounders from frozen to fresh beef by mid-2018—an initiative the company announced last March—the mega-chain is testing a larger fresh beef burger. In addition, two burger variations that have gained popularity with McDonald’s customers abroad could be worth a second look.
1. Introducing the Archburger
At the beginning of January, McDonald’s debuted the sixth-pound Archburger in seven locations, including three in Oklahoma. The larger, fresh-beef patties are cooked to order and served on a potato bun with onions, pickles and a signature sauce. The quality upgrades in both beef and cooking technique are signs that McDonald’s is ramping up its efforts to compete for the better-burger customer who patronizes concepts such as Shake Shack.
2. An Aussie take on the Big Mac
McDonald’s Down Under (where the Golden Arches are referred to as Macca’s) launched a sandwich that swaps in fried chicken patties for the usual beef. Pulling no punches, the Aussie operators are calling it the Chicken Big Mac. Supposedly, it’s been on McDonald’s secret menu in Australia for some time, but as of this month, the favorite became a permanent offering. With Americans’ ongoing love affair with fried chicken sandwiches, the Chicken Big Mac may become a winner stateside, too.
3. Vegans get a break
Heralded as McDonald’s first veggie burger, the McVegan rolled out nationwide in Finland and Sweden on Dec. 28. "The test in Finland blew all the expectations out of the water," Staffan Ekstam, McDonald's head of food strategy in Sweden, told Business Insider. The soy-based patty is topped with lettuce, onion, tomato and vegan mayonnaise. With several American burger chains recently introducing branded plant-based burgers to the menu, and vegan burger chains on the rise, the McVegan may not be far behind.