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McDonald's to bring back spicy chicken McNuggets as coronavirus hammers in-store dining

Alexandra Canal
·Producer
·2-min read

McDonald’s (MCD) Spicy Chicken McNuggets (and Mighty Hot Sauce) are making a savory comeback.

The fast food giant announced the news in a company press release on Monday — but the fan favorite meal will only be available for a limited-time beginning February 1.

The nuggets, which are breaded with a cayenne and chili pepper tempura coating, first debuted in mid-September, and received rave reviews from fans across the nation.

Meanwhile, McDonald’s Mighty Hot Sauce is the hottest dipping sauce available, and the brand’s first new sauce offering since 2017.

(Credit: McDonald's)
(Credit: McDonald's)

The nugget’s much-talked about comeback represents another iteration of the chicken sandwich wars — and showcases how multiple restaurants are now leaning into spicy product rollouts.

On Monday, Chick-fil-A added a grilled spicy deluxe chicken sandwich to its menu while McDonald’s will release three new chicken sandwiches, including the Spicy Chicken Sandwich with a spicy pepper sauce, next month.

Prince Rupert, Canada - May 17, 2020. A man reaches for his food at the McDonalds drive-thru window as the employee wears a mask for protection.
Prince Rupert, Canada - May 17, 2020. A man reaches for his food at the McDonalds drive-thru window as the employee wears a mask for protection.

Still, despite recent product innovations to kick off 2021, the fast food sector has struggled with in-store dining amid the coronavirus pandemic — and sales have taken a significant hit.

Yet, according to data compiled by Placer.ai, a bounce back could happen sooner than expected.

McDonald’s foot traffic was down 37.7% in November compared to 2019 but recovered to just 32.1% YoY in December.

Coupled with an increase in drive-thru, takeout and delivery options — the data indicates that, as pandemic restrictions ease and customers slowly return to their normal routines (especially their morning breakfast routine), 2021 could still be a big year for the brand.

And with a new dawn of the chicken sandwich wars coming up in February, McDonald’s is well positioned to take on its competitors. And all signs point to one spicy showdown.

McDonald’s stock, traded on the New York Stock Exchange, was up modestly from Monday’s close at $213.79.

Alexandra Canal is a producer & entertainment correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alliecanal8193.

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