This story has been updated to include McDonald's April sales results, which were released Friday.
NEW YORK (The Street) -- If investors needed a sign that McDonald's (MCD) is getting desperate, this is probably it.
Among the new menu items the struggling burger chain is testing is kale, the leafy vegetable that's a favorite among hipsters and health-food nuts.
Nine McDonald's restaurants in Southern California, historically a prime test spot for new items for the company, are testing breakfast bowls with kale as the headline ingredient. There are two bowl options: a turkey sausage and egg white bowl with kale and spinach, and another one with scrambled egg and chorizo.
The kale strategy is the chain's latest attempt to reverse six consecutive quarters of sales declines in the U.S. The Golden Arches is actually testing several new menu items across the country.
Whether McDonald's loyal clientele is yearning for kale -- or even know what it is -- remains to be seen. Investors so far aren't showing much reaction, and neither are consumers based on the company's April sales.
McDonald's U.S. sales fell 2.3% in April, in line with consensus forecasts. Global comparable restaurant sales declined 0.6%, beating estimates for a 1.8% fall, as McDonald's Asia did not perform as bad as feared.
The stock perked up by about 0.6% in pre-market trading on Friday.
McDonald's, meanwhile, is trying to make the new dishes sound appetizing.
"The breakfast bowls are freshly prepared," said, Lisa McComb, a McDonald's representative. "The turkey sausage bowl begins with freshly grilled egg whites and turkey sausage. Employees then make fresh bruschetta in the restaurant and are using spinach and kale to complete that breakfast bowl."
The chorizo breakfast bowl includes some of McDonald's more traditional fare. Its starts with a hash brown, then eggs are scrambled on the grill and added, and finally the chorizo and cheddar jack cheese and pico de gallo join the mix.
Whether the new dishes are organic is unclear. McComb declined to comment on that.
Interestingly, McDonald's is introducing a dish that's time consuming to make just as it's trying to speed up service. The chain has already removed several items and is focusing on snack wraps and quarter pounders that take less time to prepare.
McDonald's new CEO, Steve Easterbrook, has avoided detailing too much on his plans to enhance ingredient quality. Easterbrook suggested on a May 4 call with analysts that recipes may be tweaked to better address consumer health concerns. But when pushed, Easterbrook was noncommittal on the timing of those recipe changes and what those changes might be.
"Consumers are reframing the conversation around food," Easterbrook said. "We are a wonderfully democratic brand." He also said to "expect changes."