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Bubble Gum-Flavored Broccoli: The McDonald’s Menu Item That Nearly Was

This article is part of our Cocktail Chatter series, where we dive into the wild, weird, and wondrous corners of history to share over a cocktail and impress your friends.

Over the years, American restaurant chains have claimed to fight the good fight by offering more nutritious dining options for its customers. But about a decade ago, McDonald’s went full Willy Wonka in its efforts to be more health-minded by (almost) giving one cruciferous vegetable a questionable makeover.

According to Business Insider, at a November 2014 event hosted by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, a guest in the audience asked McDonald’s then-CEO Don Thompson what the company was doing to get kids to eat healthier. Thompson replied by announcing that the fast-food chain would be revamping its childrens’ menu. In addition to reducing its fries’ serving sizes and adding mini milk jugs to Happy Meals, he said the company had also just completed a trial period in its development of a bubblegum-flavored broccoli.

The team at McDonald’s didn’t disclose exactly how they made it, but apparently, not every artist deserves an easel. Much to McDonald’s chagrin, Thompson admitted that the product wasn’t quite working. In fact, it never made it out of the lab. Children were allegedly “confused” by the taste, and in the casual words of Thompson himself, “It wasn’t all that.” After fessing up to the failure, Thompson rattled off a few of McDonald’s health-conscious wins at the November event, proclaiming that the golden arches still sell more salads than any other American restaurant chain.

At the time, fast-casual restaurants like Chipotle were on the up and up, and McDonald’s sales were slipping. In the end, the dilemma was barely a mosquito bite on McDonald’s 80-plus-year history. The chain currently has over 40,000 locations worldwide, boasting an enterprise value of over $250 billion. That said, McDonald’s has had its fair share of menu missteps:1962 brought the questionable, pineapple-bunned Hula Burger, and let’s not forget about McSpaghetti, the ’70s-era pasta dish that’s now only served in the Philippines and a single U.S. franchise in Orlando, Fla.

We think we can safely say there are better ways to eat more nutritiously than candy-flavored broccoli — or that sketchy pineapple sandwich.

*Photo retrieved from xy –

The article Bubble Gum-Flavored Broccoli: The McDonald’s Menu Item That Nearly Was appeared first on VinePair.

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