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McDonald's Has a New Take On a Classic That Could Be a Global Hit

The fast-food giant has introduced a sandwich that's both innovative and obvious.

Some fast-food innovation feels obvious, The first person who put bacon on a cheeseburger probably wondered why nobody had done it before. The same goes for whoever decided that hot sauce might make a chicken sandwich better.

In other cases, however, it takes real imagination to create fast-food magic. 

Someone at Yum Brands'  (YUM) - Get Yum! Brands, Inc. Report Taco Bell had to look at a Dorito  (PEP) - Get PepsiCo, Inc. Report, then look at a taco and think, "perfect; these go together." The same goes for whoever decided to use two doughnuts as the bun for a KFC chicken sandwich and perhaps whatever Burger King  (QSR) - Get Restaurant Brands International Inc Report chef decided to mash up fried macaroni and cheese to create the briefly beloved Mac n' Cheetos.

McDonald's'  (MCD) - Get McDonald's Corporation Report latest innovation falls into the first category. It's so obvious that you wonder why it never happened before. That doesn't make the chain's new sandwich, which is available only in the U.K., any less brilliant.

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Which New Sandwich Has McDonald's Introduced?

Everyone knows the song. "Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun." That's the recipe for the Big Mac, a fast-food icon that propelled McDonald's from a growing chain into a global giant.

Get ready for the remix. McDonald's UK called it "a new twist on the world's most-iconic burger featuring ... sesame seed bun, Big Mac sauce, lettuce, McDonald's cheese, 100% chicken breast patty in a crispy coating, more Big Mac sauce, more lettuce, pickles, another crispy chicken patty."

The song lacks some of the pizazz of the original and it doesn't mention the extra bun that goes in the middle, but that's the recipe for the new Chicken Big Mac. 

It's a twist on the most successful fast-food sandwich of all time -- McDonald's' signature offering -- and it's on the chain's menu across the United Kingdom and Ireland until March 15 (or while supplies last).

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McDonald's Has the Recipe for a Hit

McDonald's uses stunts and gimmicks less often than many of its fast-food rivals. The chain has steadily innovated, but its new items -- at least in the U.S. -- tend to be less daring than what some of its rivals have tried.

In this case, the company has decided to use the name of its most iconic product -- the Big Mac -- to make a big splash in a hot category, chicken sandwiches. 

It's a bold move because it's different from the type of chicken sandwich that Restaurant Brands International's Popeyes made a huge hit, which pretty much every chain has copied.

That phenomenon features a big and thick chicken patty while the Chicken Big Mac has two thinner, more traditional fast-food fried chicken patties. It does add pickles, an ingredient which the classic Big Mac does not offer, but basically McDonald's has applied its classic formula to its new offering and that should lead to customers trying the new sandwich.

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Limited-time-offers prompt current customers to spend more, and they also bring lapsed customers back to a chain they haven't visited in a while. That should raise the check value from regular visitors while also bringing in some new audience.

Using the Big Mac name gives the Chicken Big Mac instant credibility. It's a "must-try" for fans of the original, and it's hard not to see the fast-food giant expanding this from a U.K. offering to one that it rolls out, if not globally, at least in the U.S.