Photo by Scott Olson — Getty Images
By Reuters
May 8, 2015

McDonald’s Corp’s worldwide sales at established restaurants fell 0.6% in April as the fast-food giant fights to lure back customers and boost sales.

Sales at the company’s U.S. restaurants open at least 13 months fell 2.3% last month, their third straight quarter of decline. The United States is McDonald’s top region for profit.

Analysts on average had estimated a 1.8% fall in the company’s worldwide same-restaurant sales in April, according to analysts polled by research firm Consensus Metrix. That included an expected 2.3% drop in the United States.

Earlier this week McDonald’s (MCD), which is testing a variety of new food products as part of its turnaround effort, said nine southern California restaurants are trying out breakfast bowls made with what is becoming a state dietary staple: kale.

One of the breakfast bowls is made with turkey sausage, egg white, kale and spinach and the other includes chorizo and egg. Both are priced around $4, McDonald’s spokeswoman Lisa McComb said.

Adding kale to menus would be a significant departure from the norm at the world’s biggest fast-food chain, which is reworking and trimming its large and complicated menu. It has slowed service and failed to keep pace with growing demand for fresher, less processed food.

Kale, touted as a nutrient-rich “superfood,” over the last five years has been growing in popularity in the United States, both in grocery produce aisles and on restaurant menus.

McDonald’s rivals Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc and other quick-service chains such as Yum Brands Inc’s Taco Bell over the past few years have helped popularize bowls, which are typically made with meat or another protein, rice or another starch and vegetables.

Separately, Janney Capital Markets analyst Mark Kalinowski said in a client note on Wednesday that McDonald’s restaurants in Canada will soon begin offering three salads made with kale as an ingredient.

McDonald’s declined to comment directly on Kalinowski’s Canada kale news, saying that the company is constantly testing new products.

“We’ll share news on our menu when the time is right,” McComb said.

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