McDonald's beefs up chicken offerings
The fast-food chain looking at other products, rather than its iconic burger, to boost sales.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - In a move away from its iconic burgers, McDonald's is looking to new chicken products, coffee and fresh foods such as salads and fruits to help spur sales in 2006 and beyond, the president of McDonald's North America, told a gathering Monday in New York.
Ralph Alvarez, speaking on the second day of the National Retail Federation's 94th annual convention, said current eating trends dictate how the No. 1 fast-food chain tweaks its options.
"Beef sales have been flat year over year, while chicken product sales are growing 8 to 10 percent a year," he said. "As a brand we have to follow trends."
"Today, we're selling $2 billion in chicken, and that's significantly up from a few years ago," Alvarez said. "We believe this trend will continue so we're putting a stronger focus on chicken rather than beef but its not at the expense of beef, rather incremental to it."
Alvarez said the coffee category offered a big opportunity for the company.
"We believe we can kick it up a notch," he said. "We want to offer great coffee at a very good price and we want to enhance our coffee offerings."
McDonald's is expected to report December same-store sales Tuesday. Analysts expect the fast-food chain to report increased sales for the 33rd straight month, part of a turnaround that began in 2002.
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