A new menu item can fail for a number of reasons. Sometimes, like in the case of Dairy Queen’s Breeze, the public interest just isn’t there. Other flops can be attributed to marketing missteps: McDonald’s McAfrika, a pita-style sandwich released in Norway in 2002, hit the market just as a major famine hit southern Africa; McDonald’s was lambasted for refusing to pull the sandwich.
But sometimes, it’s simpler: people don’t like the taste. So it was with the Arch Deluxe.
McDonald’s spent a reported $300 million market testing and advertising the Arch Deluxe hamburger, making it one of the biggest, most public product flops in history. A quarter-pound burger on a potato bun with “secret” mustard and mayonnaise sauce, the Arch Deluxe was marketed as a burger exclusively for adults. Early TV spots showed children reacting with befuddlement and disgust to the sandwich. When that proved unsuccessful, new ads featured chefs extolling the Arch Deluxe’s fine ingredients. Neither tactic worked.