The beverages, promoted via price cuts over the summer, helped boost sales at the fast-food chain.
Second-quarter same-store sales were up nearly 5% in the U.S., and some analysts estimated that the beverage promotions contributed at least one point of that growth.
McDonald's Corp. drove awareness of the products primarily through outdoor and print buys, using regional agencies. Since tea dovetailed so naturally with the Southern-style chicken biscuit, when McDonald's did spring for broadcast advertising, it paired the biscuit and beverage.
"The addition of Sweet Tea to our beverage lineup has provided substantial growth to our overall beverage business," says Neil Golden, chief marketing officer at McDonald's USA. "The majority of our restaurants have shown significant positive sales growth."