NEW YORK (AP) — McDonald’s is adding a permanent new offering to its menu: chicken McWraps.
The world’s biggest hamburger chain says the new sandwich wrap will come in three varieties — Chicken & Bacon, Sweet Chili Chicken and Chicken & Ranch. The company already offers similar wraps in other parts of the world, including Europe.
The Oak Brook, Ill.-based chain says the wraps range from 360 to 600 calories, depending on whether people pick grilled or deep-fried chicken. They will include a spring mix of lettuce and cucumbers, the first time the vegetable will be part of the chain’s core menu. The McWraps will use a larger version of the tortilla used in McDonald’s snack wraps, along with the same kind of chicken.
McDonald’s has also been stepping up the pace of its limited-time offers, with CEO Don Thompson saying the company has a bigger pipeline of new menu items planned for the year ahead.
By refreshing its menu, the chain is hoping to hold onto customers at a time when it’s facing intensifying competition from the likes of Burger King and Wendy’s. Next week, for instance, Wendy’s plans to roll out its “Flatbread Grilled Chicken Sandwiches” in two flavors; an Asiago Ranch flavor will have 530 calories and the Honey Mustard flavor will have 370 calories.
The latest offerings from the two chains also reflect the changing tastes of diners, who are increasingly looking for fresher, more premium ingredients with a healthier image, even at fast-food chains. McDonald’s, for example, also plans to offer a version of its Egg McMuffin made with egg whites starting April 22. And Burger King this week rolled out its first turkey burger, following the success of turkey burgers at Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s.
Dan Coudreaut, director of culinary innovation of McDonald’s, says the wraps will be a new “platform” and that different varieties are already in the pipeline. These could include spicy or Cajun flavors, he said. In Europe, he noted, there is a shrimp McWrap.
Although the chicken McWraps officially launch nationwide next week, the company says many restaurants already have them. The suggested price for a wrap is $3.99.
National advertising is set to start April 1.
AP Food Industry Writer Candice Choi authored this report.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.