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McFlurry, an ice-cream concoction whipped up in Canada, has become an unexpected hit for McDonald's Corp. in the U.S.

The product, a blend of vanilla ice cream with branded candies such as Heath bars and M&Ms, quietly crossed the border just over a year ago. The indulgent dessert, similar to International Dairy Queen's Blizzard, has been snapped up by 93% of the burger giant's 12,500 U.S. restaurants and is now in some 34 international markets.

McFlurry has sought-after new product attributes, explains Rem Langan, VP-marketing, McDonald's Canada, who headed up the effort to launch the product.

U.S. advertising support has come from spot TV and radio from DDB Worldwide, Chicago, along with in-store marketing materials.

It brings in new customers of all ages; it attracts people looking for a snack, thus a boost during slow periods; and it's typically an add-on to a check, rather than a replacement for a burger and fries.

"It offers great tastes and different flavors and it's fun to eat," says Mr. Langan, 46.

McFlurry was created by Ron McLellan, a two-unit franchisee based in Bathurst, New Brunswick, Canada, and developed over two years by a team that included Mr. McLellan, Mr. Langan and Jim Fox, McDonald's director-operations development. Canadian ad support came from Cossette Communications Marketing, Toronto.

Finding the right equipment and packaging was key, Mr. Langan says. A specially created spoon, for instance, is used to whip the dessert, and then detached for the consumer to use as a utensil.

The product has made McDonald's Canadian operation proud.

"We generally look to the U.S.," Mr. Langan says. "It's fun to have a product

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