Skip to main content

McDonald's Takes on KFC, Wendy's With a Spicy New Menu Item

The fast-food chain has been testing a garlic pepper spicy chicken nugget, but there's a catch.

Spicy has become a fast-food staple.

Wendy's (WEN) - Get Wendy's Company Report has spicy chicken nuggets on its permanent menu while Yum! Brands (YUM) - Get Yum! Brands, Inc. Report KFC offers a spicy version of its classic chicken sandwich as well as Nashville Hot Chicken Tenders. Even McDonald's (MCD) - Get McDonald's Corporation Report -- which tends to be the most cautious fast-food chain -- has offered spicy McNuggets as well as a variety of spicy sauces that have come on and off its menu over the past few years. 

Now, the company which popularized the chicken nugget as a fast-food staple has gone back to the spicy well once again.

Garlic Peppercorn Spicy McNuggets

McDonald's Has a New Spicy McNugget

McDonald's often tries menu items out in a handful of restaurants or in a market outside the United States. That's what it's doing with its new Peppercorn Garlic Spicy Chicken McNuggets, which have been released as a limited-time offer in the chain's locations in Japan, Brand Eating reported.

The new Chicken McNuggets feature coarse-ground black pepper and garlic as well as some extra flavor and heat from white pepper and chili peppers. A six-piece order costs 200 yen (~$1.76 U.S.). To accompany the new Peppercorn Garlic Spicy Chicken McNuggets, McDonald's also releases two limited-time sauces to dip them in: Garlic Soy Sauce Mayo and Smoked Cheese.

TheStreet Recommends: Top 5 Tips to Help Small Businesses Thrive In 2022

Scroll to Continue

TheStreet Recommends

Many items that appear on McDonald's menus outside of the U.S. would not seem like logical candidates for a stateside release.   McDonald's Japan also offers a number of "Roasted Soy Sauce" burgers and that might be a bridge too far for American diners.

Peppercorn Garlic Spicy Chicken McNuggets, however, seem like they could be moved right to the U.S. menu albeit paired with different sauces (though Garlic Soy Sauce Mayo might work).

Global McDonald's Mixes the Familiar and the Odd

One of the chain's hallmarks is that it offers the classic McDonald's experience whether you are in New York, Paris, Tokyo, or somewhere else. The menu always offers Big Macs, the chain's classic fries, and most of the items familiar to American customers.

The chain, however, also caters to local tastes and offers menu items in every country that Americans might find a bit odd or at least unexpected. Here are five especially unique choices that the company has offered (generally on a limited-time basis) in various markets:

  • Ham N' Egg Twisty Pasta (Hong Kong): It has a whole egg, breaded and fried ham, pasta, and vegetables. 

  • Gratin Croquette Burger (Japan): A seasonal menu item that's offered in the winter, this sandwich features a fried crab and macaroni croquette between two steamed buns.

  • Mashed Potato Burger (China): This one is pretty much what it sounds like -- a McDonald's hamburger with two beef patties and a scoop of mashed potato on top.
  • Cadbury Creme Egg McFlurry (United Kingdom, Australia): It's hard to see why this one hasn't made it to the U.S. as it's vanilla soft serve topped with egg fondant sauce and chocolate pieces designed to taste like the classic Easter candy.
  • Bacon Roll (United Kingdom): It's a bacon cheeseburger minus the burger and the cheese, literally just a bunch of bacon on a roll.

TheStreet Recommends: 6 Tips For Starting a New Business