McDonald’s Marketing Stunt Backfires Big

Remember the big deal that McD’s and its customers made when the Burger Giant brought out a Szechuan Sauce for a limited time, in collaboration with a Szechuan Burger? Well, when they did bring it back, McDonald’s miscalculated big time and fans rioted in the streets over ‘shortages’…

McDonalds customers protest Sauce shortage - © frederick via TwitterMcDonald’s had no idea what they were letting themselves in for…

They actually lined up around the block for a taste of McDonald’s much trumpeted Szechuan Sauce when the chain brought it back for a limited tin me recently. Then, they got ugly when  the stocks of the almost legendary condiment ran out way too soon to serve the demand. Somebody who got a packet put it up on eBay and got (US)$1,000 for it!

So much hype was generated over the initial release of Szechuan Sauce that the ball just kept on rolling after the limited time Szechuan promotion a few months ago. And cries to bring back the hot stuff became deafening. So McD’s brought it back anticipating another huge rush to their counters. But they took the ‘limited’ thing too far. In fact, the Sauce was only available at a few stores across the U.S. and only 20 to 40 packets were allotted to each store. Dumb move. fans went berserk. Somebody who got a packet put it up on eBay and got (US)$1,000 for it!

McDonald’s, however, was on the ball and addressed the mega-fail immediately:

McDs Szedchuan Sauce fail apology - © 2017 McDonaldsWhat else could they do?

Here’s what I think really happened: Based on the tiny amount of Sauce that was available, I thinking it was simply what was left over in the warehouse from the initial; order from the Sauce packager. And some penny-pinching McD’s braniac thought, “Lets get this stuff off the inventory for a profit and make some additional hay over the Szechuan craze!” This person is dangerous and should be confined for a psychiatric examination immediately, so they cannot do any further harm to the brand!

The underlying tragedy…

If only the people who protested and carried signs and chanted after the Szechaun Sauce ran out this past week were a little more self sufficient and creative, they could have enjoyed what they crave without even going to McDonald’s. Yes, I’ve tasted the Sauce and it’s just like a bland version of the Sweet and Sour Szechuan dip I make for Dumpling Tuesdays here at Casa Maggie. Get a jar of Teriyaki Sauce. Get a bottle of Szechuan Sauce. Blend your own to your own taste and enjoy. And don’t forget to try my fave Sweet-Spicy blend – Thai Sweet Chili Sauce and Sour Cream!

Let’s hear no more weeping and wailing over McD’s Sezchuan Sauce!

~ Maggie J.