How Will McDonald’s Get Rid of Those Unsold Wings?

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McDonald’s wasn’t able to sell about 20 perecent of the chicken wings it bought for its Mighty Wings promotion this past fall. When you’re as big as McDonald’s, that sort of oversupply means there are about 10 million pounds of the bone-in wings sitting in frozen storage, as the Wall Street Journal reported.

What will the chain do with all that surplus? “We’re bringing back Mighty Wings—stay tuned,” McDonald’s spokeswoman Lisa McComb wrote in an e-mail. Selling off the remainder shouldn’t be a problem, especially since it seems the fast-food giant is planning to bring the wings back at a lower price. While $1 per wing might not sound that bad, customers proved reluctant given the comparative bounty of 20 McNuggets for $5, as well as the Dollar Menu.

“I think going forward, we have to be smart about Mighty Wings in the context–or any of the limited-time offers and price that we offer–in the context of the entire menu board and what [customers] can get with other offerings vs. the limited-time offers,” Kevin Newell, McDonald’s chief brand and strategy officer for the U.S., said at an investor meeting last month. “So a lot of pricing work going on. We have a team. Some of the folks here in the room are working on what pricing ought to look like.”

The other factor: flavor. McDonald’s will probably need to either tone down the heat or promote the spiciness of its wings. Jeffery Stratton, president of McDonald’s USA, said at the meeting, “It is a spicier product. And maybe when we come back with a product like that, there needs to be another alternative, and we need to talk about that right upfront. If we stay with the existing product, we blend the spice message into the marketing.”

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