McDonald's Fish McBites aren't catching customers
The new menu item is failing to boost sales, and early reviews are poor, with one decrying it as deep-fried 'yuck.'
February wasn't a good month for McDonald's (MCD). First, it caused an outcry when it dropped Chicken Selects from its menu. Then on Friday, the fast-food chain said U.S. sales slipped last month despite the introduction of a new menu item, Fish McBites.
Part of the problem may be with the product itself, which has received poor reviews. One customer complained the fish balls resemble deep-fried "yuck" and are "the most heavily breaded fish stick you've ever eaten."
The new item is also designed to appeal to consumers worried about overfishing. They carry a label from the Marine Stewardship Council that verifies the McBites represent sustainable fishing practices. The eco-label certifies that the product uses Alaska pollock, which Mickey D's touts as wild-caught.
The restaurant is also trying to appeal to every appetite, from those of kids on up. Fish McBites are sold in three sizes -- snack, regular or shareable -- while McDonald's also brought out a Happy Meal version, representing its first new Happy Meal entree in a decade.
Despite all foodie language surrounding Fish McBites, they're not winning over customers or reviewers.
One food blog gave the product a middling grade, a 5.75 rating out of 10, which puts it at "mediocre," according to fast-food reviewing site GrubGrade. (It also dinged the dish for having a fishy "stink.")
And customers from Alaska, where the fish are scooped from the sea, were even harsher, with some singling out the heavy breading, according to comments on the Alaska Dispatch. "They were basically fish mush deep fried with lots of breading, slight fish taste, just yuck," one commenter complained.
Humorists from NPR's news-quiz show "Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me" also jumped in with insults, with one satirist writing on its blog, "Just putting a 'Mc' in front of something doesn't mean it's edible. That said, I'm excited for the McHorse."
The only good news for McDonald's might be that Fish McBites were introduced as a limited-time menu item. Given the reception, it raises doubts about whether the chain will continue dishing out the deep-fried fish balls.
Deep fried Lutefish. Also, some of the commercials for Fish McBites are, in a word, creepy.
"One customer complained the fish balls resemble deep-fried "yuck"
Sounds like "Pink Slime the Sequel"
McDonalds was good when they cooked the food in the store now all there food taste like it is microwaved and the Buns are hard they used to be soft most all the McDonald in Tucson Suck
They try to keep the same taste and changed the cooking process and now I fear the food is very bad for you and the taste is not the same as it was years ago.
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