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McDonald's tries out sweet potato fries

McDonald's is testing sweet potato fries in select locations in Texas. Can they match the success of their classic counterparts?

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    The sun sets behind a McDonald's restaurant in Ebensburg, Pa.(Oct. 10, 2015).
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Customers curious if sweet potato complements Big Macs can soon find out.

McDonald’s has announced that it is testing sweet potato fries in select Texas locations.  A tweet from the McDonald’s Texas Panhandle account features a picture of sweet potato fries in a McDonald’s cover and reads, “The perfect side to go with your perfect burger. Sweet Potato Fries.”

"Sweet potato fries are being tested in some Create Your Taste test restaurants in Amarillo, and we're gathering valuable customer feedback on them," a company statement printed in Business Insider reads.

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The sweet potato fry trial run marks the latest in a string of menu changes from the fast food giant, including launching all-day breakfast, switching to cage-free eggs and real butter, and opening Create Your Own Taste centers in select McDonald locations, where customers can create their own burger with a wide variety of ingredients.

These attempts are aimed at boosting falling sales. 2015 is the first year in its history McDonald’s is planning to close more restaurants than it opens. In July, McDonald’s reported that they had experienced a 10 percent drop in quarterly sales in the second quarter of 2015, according to CNN Money. 

But in Thursday's Q3 report the chain announced its first positive US sales numbers in two years, and it's hoping that additions like the tangy, sweet fries will help strengthen the turnaround.

Sweet potato fries are not a mainstream fast food side dish in the United States yet. No other fast food restaurant serves them, although Burger King did experiment with them in 2012.

Although this is McDonald’s first foray into the sweet potato market in the United States, it does have international experience with the side. The chain offered sweet potato fries in other countries, including Australia, as recently as last September.

McDonald’s may be hoping that with suppliers for sweet potato fries already in place, the menu item might be able to attract more patrons, even if it is just out of curiosity.

Earlier this year, McDonald’s President and CEO Steve Easterbrook called for a “global turnaround” to make the burger chain a “modern, progressive burger company.” 

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