CivicScience | McDonald’s Fiery Release of Spicy McNuggets Will Give Sales a Kick

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McDonald’s Fiery Release of Spicy McNuggets Will Give Sales a Kick

Image Credit: McDonald's

Nearly a quarter of U.S. adults are drooling over McDonald’s newly-released Spicy McNuggets. Available for a limited time, spicy nugs could do more than give sales a quick boost.

A brand comparison of popular fast food chains shows those favorable to McDonald’s are some of the most likely to head to the drive-thru for a box of spicy nuggets, followed closely by fans of Wendy’s and Burger King. But the greatest interest comes from those who love to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings.

It isn’t wildly surprising, given that BWW brings in crowds for chicken wings tossed with or dipped in a variety of sauces — spicy, creamy, and sweet — so perhaps such high interest from BWW favorables can be attributed to the new hot sauce that comes with Spicy McNuggets.

Interest from Buffalo Wild Wings fans is by no means a proxy for a successful menu item. But when considering Spicy McNuggets appeal the most to rural Americans, interest from BWW favorables — generally more suburban residents — is telling.

It makes sense that frequent fast food patrons would be pumped to try Spicy McNuggets — 38% of U.S. adults who eat fast food at least once a week are likely to try them. But another telling data point is that frequent upscale diners show even greater anticipation for the flavorful chicken bites. CivicScience data indicate U.S. adults who eat at upscale restaurants at least once per week are 25% more likely than weekly fast food diners to try Spicy McNuggets.

A final note on the diverse group of interested nug-eaters relates to diet. Forty-one percent of survey respondents who are currently on a paleo diet say they are likely to try Spicy McNuggets. The paleo diet includes “lean meats,” according to Mayo Clinic, but highly-processed, breaded, and fried foods weren’t on the list.

It’s too bad spicy nugs are only around for a limited time — McDonald’s flavorful menu expansion is pulling in a diverse crowd. It will be interesting to see if McDonald’s brand favorability sees any long-term impact.

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