Much like customers at a fast food joint, these menu items came…and left.
In September 2013, McDonald’s introduced Mighty Wings—breaded bone-in chicken wings. It seemed a natural fit for the fast food behemoth, but it ended up being one of the chain’s most costly mistakes. After purchasing 50 million pounds of chicken wings from poultry suppliers, more than 10 million pounds were still left by December 2013. At $1 a wing, they were more expensive than most other McDonald’s menu items.
The company unsuccessfully tried to sell them off by the end of the year at 60 cents a piece (but still had millions left that they had to throw away).
In 1985, Wendy’s became one of the first major fast food chains to introduce healthier menu alternatives to burgers and fries. But while salads and grilled chicken sandwiches are now drive-thru staples, Wendy’s Tomato Surprise was a bomb. It’s no surprise: the Tomato Surprise was a large beefsteak tomato hollowed out, filled with cottage cheese, and then topped with a slice of pineapple. It was gone in less than six months.
Pizza Hut is not normally associated with “natural” food, and in 2009 the chain tried to change customers minds with a pizza called The Natural, purporting to have more wholesome, farm-fresh ingredients. The crust was made from stone-ground multi-grain, the sauce with slow-simmered vine-ripened tomatoes, and the cheese was “all natural.” However, there is no legal distinction on the term “natural,” so nothing about the pizza was remotely different than usual Pizza Hut fare…other than the $1 extra it charged for The Natural. Naturally, The Natural disappeared within a year.