- McDonald’s plans to launch a new breakfast item, the Triple Breakfast Stacks, on Nov. 1, according to a company release — marking the company’s first new breakfast item in five years.
- The sandwiches include an egg, two sausage patties, two slices of cheese and bacon, and are served between a biscuit, McMuffin or McGriddle.
- The company said the offering was inspired by its fan-created “secret menu.” The menu news came just hours after the company reported its Q3 earnings report, in which global comp sales were up 4.2% and U.S. comp sales were up 2.4%.
It was mostly good news for McDonald’s during the Q3 earnings call, however CEO Steve Easterbrook did note that the company continues to lose share in the breakfast daypart. The company saw similar results in its second quarter, and CFO Kevin Ozan admitted in its Q2 filing that the chain had “lost a little focus” on its morning business.
This has led to a sense of urgency for the company. McDonald’s has long been a leader in breakfast, which is the company's most profitable daypart and accounts for about 24% of the chain’s sales. The company rolled out all-day breakfast in the fall of 2015 and experienced a 5.4% jump in comp sales during that quarter. But recent results have raised questions as to whether or not this all-day approach can sustain long-term growth.
A number of factors could be slowing McDonald's momentum in this space, including increased competition from the likes of Starbucks, Dunkin’, Chick-fil-A and even Taco Bell. According to Euromonitor, for example, McDonald’s morning market share was 17.4% five years ago but fell to 14.7% last year. Coincidentally, Taco Bell jumped into breakfast nearly five years ago.
Melissa Friebe, Taco Bell’s senior vice president of brand marketing and consumer insights, said the company continues to see a “big opportunity” in QSR breakfast. Indeed, Technomic research indicates that the morning daypart continues to grow, with the quick-service segment driving the most away-from-home breakfast purchases — averaging 3.9 breakfast visits per month. This is compared to 1.3 visits to fast casual restaurants, 2 visits to full-service restaurants and 2.5 visits to coffee shops.
It’s no wonder, then, that McDonald’s has introduced a new item to generate renewed interest in the daypart. As competition grows, five years is a long time for a QSR to go without launching a new menu item (aside from its McCafé line) — especially in its strongest daypart.