McDonald’s is getting ready for spring with the arrival of the Shamrock Shake.
Beginning February 21, the fan-favorite milkshake — as well as an Oreo Shamrock McFlurry — will go on sale at US restaurants for a limited time. Prices vary by location.
McDonald’s first sold the Shamrock Shake in 1970. Over the years, the burger chain has brought back the original as well as variations like the “Shamrock Sundae” in 1980, a chocolate version in 2017 and the Oreo Shamrock McFlurry in 2020. The Shamrock Shake, originally sold regionally, went on sale nationally in 2012.
Fast food chains are constantly competing for customers’ dollars and attention, and specialty offerings are a way to try to cut through the noise. Seasonal items are an important marketing tool for the food industry, according to Alexander Chernev, a professor of marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
McDonald’s (MCD) has unveiled lots of items in this category in recent months, including spicy chicken nuggets and celebrity meal deals with singers J. Balvin and Travis Scott. The offerings create “menu excitement that keeps customers engaged,” CEO Chris Kempczinski said on McDonald’s (MCD) most recent earnings call. Sales at US restaurants open at least a year rose 5.5% in the fourth quarter compared to the year prior.
McDonald’s (MCD) recently reported that sales at its US stores open at least 13 months jumped 13.8% — the largest annual increase since McDonald’s (MCD) started reporting comparable sales in 1993. Menu price increases and new and seasonal items, like the limited-time McRib, helped boost sales.