As reported here in December, McDonald’s 1,400 Canadian units have been celebrating the country’s role as Olympic host with a Parmigiana Chicken Snack Wrap, Crème Brûlée Crunch McFlurry, S’mores Pie and Spicy Szechwan and Zesty Mango dipping sauces for their Chicken McNuggets. The U.S. effort stays with McNuggets buts adds a Sweet Chili dipping sauce (below) as part of a “How Do You McNugget?” promotion. The heart of the promotion is a game beginning Feb. 12 and involving #hashtags on Twitter messages. Answer questions about how Olympians McNugget and win. Grand prize for the Twitter game is a trip for two to the 2012 London Summer Games.
Dan Coudreaut, McDonald’s director of culinary innovation in its Oak Brook, Ill., headquarters, tells BurgerBusiness.com that the Sweet Chili Sauce resulted from a global culinary search. “We knew about a year out that McNuggets were going to be the focus for the Vancouver Games, so, really, we scoured the world of McDonald’s, tasting McNugget sauces and looking for what we thought would be the right one,” he says. The Sweet Chili Sauce now menued is based on a Sweet Thai Chili dipping sauce the chain had in Australia.
Olympic athletes will be visiting selected McDonald’s restaurants on Feb. 12, opening day for the games. Several U.S. athletes are featured in TV spots in which they answer the “How Do You McNugget?” question. U.S. Olympic speedskater Jen Rodriguez likes to “pop it and taste it,” while U.S. mogul freestyle skier Patrick Deneen (video above left) chooses to “dip it and flip it.” Paralympic adaptive Nordic skier Sean Halsted (video above right) prefers to “snack it and attack it.”
They and other U.S. Olympians appear on McDonald’s packaging. Among them are hockey players Dustin Byfuglien and Angela Ruggiero, speedskater J.R. Celski and showboarders Kelly Clark and Graham Watanabe.
Chicken McNuggets were chosen as the menu focus because of their longstanding and global popularity with Olympic athletes. Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway also have been running Olympic-themed McNugget advertising.