In yet another burst of menu non-creativity, McDonald's is introducing Chicken McBites: popcorn-style chicken micro-nuggets that will differ from Chicken McNuggets in that they are ostensibly made from actual cuts of chicken, rather than the bizarre breaded avian mash that gives McNuggets their superfluously spongy consistency. With this un-daring menu move, it's obvious that Mickey's is gunning for a healthy chunk of the fried-chicken market rather than really presenting the dining public with innovative, nutritious options.
Still, the McBites concept opens up all kinds of possibilities. Here is our top-five list of the McBites that McDonald's should add next:
5. McRib bites.The McRib sandwich's cult following is undeniable, so why not capitalize on its seasonal popularity by offering boxes of mini riblets all year round? This idea will not require any new ingredients or even much thought, just a quick modification of the rib patty presses to produce smaller hunks with one fake bone shape each. A few floppy pickles as a garnish would be a nice touch, too.
4. McSeitan bites.
Catering to vegetarians/vegans is a profitable concept (look what it's done for Whole Foods) and giving non-carnivores boxes of fried wheat meat minis could potentially lure the carrot crowd away from Mad Greens. Using their Boulder locations as a test market, McDonald's could introduce a new handful of dipping sauces perfect for macrobiotic mock meat: brown-rice reduction sauce, zingy zucchini vinaigrette and fennel gravy.
3. McCinnamon roll bites. Sure, Burger King already banks out on their Cinna-minis, but letting them corner the market on baby cinnamon rolls is pretty limiting. Maybe teaming up with Cinnabon isn't a bad idea either, because if Chick-fil-A can survive and thrive outside of malls, so can they. Retaliation can be a bitch, however, so McDoo had better employ some better muscle than Grimace to fight off that psychotic, molesty-looking king mascot.
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2. McCrab bites. Long John Silver's has had a good run with its Langostino lobster bites; McDonald's should really steal the concept of affordable seafood and take it to the next level. Inexpensive surimi chunks, battered and fried with a side of ranch dressing, is something that consumers can really relate to, and the marketing campaign alone will make it worth the effort because everyone wants a T-shirt that proudly reads "Get your box full of McCrabs!"
1. McCo-Jack bites. Most Americans love cheese--both kinds, yellow and white. Taking speckled slabs of Colby Jack and transforming them into fried nuggets may well be the most innovative thing McDonald's has done in the last couple of decades, and it could also help launch lactose intolerance as a more virulent crisis condition than obesity. Ronald McDonald chowing a greasy box of fried cheese may also provide an answer to the question of whether or not clown farts smell funny.