We're hoping that the Guacamole Burger will soon be available nationwide!
The Golden Arches are going green! For the first time, McDonald’s is rolling out avocado sandwiches, including the guacamole burger, the guacamole grilled chicken and guacamole crispy chicken sandwiches, which are being tested right now in the North Carolina, South Carolina and Denver markets. The sandwiches all feature fresh guacamole, pico de gallo, lettuce, and white Cheddar atop an artisan bun. Right now, the burger is priced at $4.79, which is more expensive than most of the other McDonald’s menu items. But at Denver, you can also add guacamole to any sandwich for 89 cents, as well as order a guacamole dip.
Check out The Daily Meal's Best Guacamole in America (Slideshow)
“The Greenville, Spartanburg and Asheville [Carolina] communities have rich culinary traditions, and this premium sandwich experience is something we know they will love,” says Terry Shugart, a local McDonald’s owner/operator for North and South Carolina. “By bringing this new taste to our local consumers, we’re showing them we’re listening to what they’re telling us they want to see on our menus."
This isn’t the first time that McDonald’s has offered an avocado creation. They tried guacamole on the McDonald’s chicken flatbreads in 2010, but the option was soon removed from their menus.
It remains to be seen if McDonald’s will expand the guacamole burger beyond the test market. After all, companies like Chipotle have had trouble with keeping guac on the menu, as avocado prices are through the roof.
Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi
McDonald's is axing even more burgers and sandwiches from its menu
Say goodbye to the chain's artisanal burgers and chicken sandwiches, as the fast food restaurant announced in a short news release on Wednesday that it will "move away from the Signature Crafted Recipes line on our national menu" to focus on its Quarter Pounders.
In its announcement, the company cited positive customer feedback favoring its bacon-topped and deluxe Quarter Pounders, which were introduced earlier this year, as the reason for focusing on those items while ditching the Signature Crafted burgers and chicken sandwiches.
The burgers and chicken sandwiches featured condiments like maple bacon dijon and pico guacamole, compared to the usual (and cheaper) burger toppings like pickles, onions and ketchup. The change will now allow restaurants to ditch the pricier ingredients.
The end of offerings like a mushroom-and-Swiss burger and the bacon smokehouse artisan grilled chicken sandwich comes just two years after the Signature Crafted items were first introduced to the menu to keep up with fast-growing competitors like Shake Shack, which are known for using premium ingredients and experimenting with different flavor profiles.
Lately, McDonald's has been turning its focus to the ingredients used in its most popular items, rather than customization. Last year, the brand announced that it had removed artificial colors, flavors and preservatives from most of the burgers on its menu.
You'll feel full for longer.
After you polish off a McDonald's burger, that feeling of incredible fullness hits many of us. This phenomenon makes sense when we learn what is happening to our digestive system.
"When you consume more calories, it takes longer to digest all the food, but that does not 'slow down your metabolism,'" Goodson says. "Foods that are higher in fat slow down digestion and can leave people feeling full for a longer period of time."
If you have to go for an extended period without eating, this McDonald's burger might just come in handy.
Looking for other healthy McDonald's tips? Check out our list of 7 Healthiest McDonald's Orders, According to a Dietitian.
QUARTER POUND 100% BEEF PATTY*
Ingredients: 100% Pure USDA Inspected Beef No Fillers, No Extenders.Prepared with Grill Seasoning (Salt, Black Pepper). *Based On The Weight Before Cooking 4.25 oz.
SESAME SEED BUN
Ingredients: Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Sugar, Yeast, Soybean Oil, Contains 2% or Less: Salt, Wheat Gluten, Sesame Seeds, Potato Flour, May Contain One or More Dough Conditioners (DATEM, Ascorbic Acid, Mono and Diglycerides, Enzymes), Calcium Propionate (Preservative).
PICO DE GALLO
Ingredients: Tomatoes, Onions, Dried Parsley, Salt, Maltodextrin, Sugar, Modified Corn Starch, Lime Juice Concentrate, Corn Syrup Solids, Vinegar, Spices, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Natural Flavors.
Ingredients: Avocado, Tomato, Onion, Jalapeno Peppers, Serrano Peppers, Salt, Cilantro, Garlic.
PASTEURIZED PROCESS WHITE CHEDDAR CHEESE
Ingredients: Milk, Water, Cheese Culture, Cream, Sodium Citrate, Contains 2% or Less: Salt, Citric Acid, Sorbic Acid (Preservative), May Contain One or More of: Sodium Phosphate, Sodium Pyrophosphate, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Enzymes, Acetic Acid, Soy Lecithin
Contains: MILK, SOY.
BUTTERMILK RANCH SAUCE
Ingredients: Soybean Oil, Cultured Buttermilk, Water, Sour Cream (Milk, Cultured Cream, Modified Food Starch, Guar Gum, Sodium Phosphates, Carob Bean Gum, Sodium Citrate, Calcium Sulfate, Carrageenan, Dextrose, Potassium Sorbate [Preservative], Citric Acid, Gelatin, Mono- and Diglycerides), Egg Yolks, Contains 2% or Less: Distilled Vinegar, Maltodextrin, Salt, Dextrose, Modified Food Starch, Soy Sauce (Soybeans, Wheat, Salt), Dried Onion, Garlic Powder, Lactic Acid, Natural Flavors, Shallots, Preservatives (Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Calcium Disodium EDTA), Xanthan Gum, Spice, Phosphoric Acid, Sodium Acid Sulfate, Propylene Glycol Alginate, Autolyzed Yeast Extract.
Contains: MILK, EGG, SOY, WHEAT.
This is how McDonald's new Signature sandwiches compare to Smashburger, Five Guys
Can a dash of guacamole and some caramelized onions bump McDonald's into the better-burger category?
Last week, the Golden Arches began the nationwide rollout of its Signature Crafted Recipes sandwiches, part of the company's plan to win back customers from rivals. The chain said earlier this year that it lost more than 500 million visits since 2012 to its competitors.
McDonald's has long struggled to find a balance between offering value and premium options to its patrons. When it has shifted too far in one direction, it has usually lost ground with customers on the other side of the spectrum.
Over the last couple years, McDonald's has stressed its value propositions, including dollar menus and All-Day Breakfast. Now, the restaurant has begun promoting healthier, more upscale options in a hope to come back to center.
The Signature Crafted Recipes can be customized in three flavors: Pico Guacamole, Sweet BBQ Bacon, and Maple Bacon Dijon. The new sandwiches cost between $5 and $7, on average, depending on your location and are on par with the prices at other chains in the better-burger category.
So far, the new sandwiches have met with some fanfare, as customers found the departure from McDonald's typical burgers and chicken refreshing and tasty. However, others found the burger giant's new menu items to be underwhelming and not worth the price.
CNBC decided to see for itself. Since the Golden Arches hopes to compete with chains like Five Guys and Smashburger, we wanted to see how the Signature Crafted Recipes stack up against these chains' signature burgers. To standardize the test, we sampled only burgers, not the chicken options. Also, we ordered all the McDonald's sandwiches with artisan bread, although a sesame bun option is also available.
To get a baseline for comparison, I started by tasting the burgers from Smashburger and Five Guys.
26 S'Awesome Bacon Classic (Wendy's)
Wendy's has distinguished itself from the previous two brands by reminding customers that they don't freeze their beef patties. To that fresh patty, they've added bacon, cheese, lettuce, onion and a pickle all smothered in a new tangy sauce, according to Wendy's. It's a great, basic burger with a few extras to dress it up, and it's getting some deserved respect. We're not sure the name is as s'awesome as they say, but it tastes good and that's all we care about.
McDonald's Ditches "Create Your Taste" Custom Burger Test
A burger from McDonald's Signature Crafted Recipes sandwich menu.
McDonald's much-hyped "Create Your Taste" menu, which allowed customers in about 2,000 US restaurants to build their own burgers using touch-screen kiosks from more than 30 different meat, topping, and bun options, has reached a quiet end. In its place, the chain is rolling out a simplified version called "Signature Crafted Recipes" that offers customers a selection of four toppings bundles on a beef or chicken burger. Sandwiches from the new menu will still come with table service, which was introduced as part of the Create Your Taste program, and can be ordered from the drive-thru.
"We continue to test a more modern restaurant experience in select markets in the US featuring kiosks that allow customers to pick their bun, protein and ingredients under the Signature Crafted concept and also enjoy table service," said a McDonald's spokeswoman in an emailed statement.
The change, first reported by Business Insider, was made after restaurant operators worried making super customized burgers would slow down the kitchen. But according to Richard Adams, a consultant to McDonald's franchisees, the program never even got that far. "Create Your Taste was never successful in testing," Adams said, and few people ordered off that menu.
There were several problems with Create Your Taste. The custom sandwiches cost were not available in the drive-thru, where McDonald's does the majority of its business, he said. At a cost of roughly $8 to $10, they targeted a higher-spending consumer that was not part of the chain's core customer base. And they simply took too long to prepare to be desirable to fast food customers.
The four Signature Crafted topping bundles that replace the long list of individual ingredients are: maple bacon dijon, deluxe, buffalo bacon, and pico guacamole, according to BI. Customers can also choose from three meats: beef, buttermilk crispy chicken, or grilled chicken. Adams said the burgers cost less than those built from the Create Your Taste menu.
Menu customization has been an unlikely but important part of the Golden Arches' menu strategy since domestic sales began falling several years ago. In 2014, when the chain was starting to roll out Create Your Taste, then-CEO Don Thompson said "this is not a test." (Nonetheless, it's over.)
"We are leveraging the learnings from Create Your Taste to provide our customers with a great experience when they visit McDonald’s," a spokeswoman told BuzzFeed News. The chain is also working on other menu initiatives, such as expanding all-day breakfast, mobile ordering, and tweaking iconic items like the Big Mac, to sustain a recent sales turnaround.
Pomegranate arils provide a burst of sweetness to this otherwise savory dip.
If the ruby red color of these arils doesn't put you in the mood for warm weather, the sweetness they bring to the guacamole certainly will. They completely pop in your mouth—and if you're the kind of person that can never decide between sweet or savory options, this will be your new favorite way to make guac.
The greatest thing about this additional ingredient? Just because you're upping the flavor, doesn't mean you have to do any extra work to prepare this recipe. Even though lots of food bloggers have their own recipes for Pomegranate Guacamole, essentially all you're doing is making your typical guacamole recipe and then adding pomegranate arils to it. Most recipes seem to add 1 cup of arils for a 3-avocado recipe, but you can simply add as much or as little as you want.
Not all McDonald's buns are created equal
When it comes to telling one McDonald's burger from another, all you have to do is look at the bun. That's right — different burgers are made on different buns. The more deluxe burgers, like the Big Mac, Quarter Pounder, and Double Quarter Pounder, are served on a toasted sesame seed bun. The Big Mac even has a "club-style" bun with a third layer in between the two patties. Others, however, like the basic hamburger, cheeseburger, and double cheeseburger, go on a plain toasted bun. Even the non-burger sandwiches get different buns. The McChicken, for instance, is served on the same plain toasted bun as the hamburgers while the Filet-O-Fish goes on a plain steamed bun.
Here's a McDonald's hack, though: If you aren't satisfied with the bun your burger of choice is served on, you can always ask for a substitution. According to LA Weekly, you can get a cheeseburger on the Filet-O-Fish's fluffy steamed bun, if you'd like.