Mighty Wings failed to fly mainly because they were too spicy
and too pricey. The wings were sold in packs of three, five or 10
wings starting at $2.99, indicating a discount may be on the
horizon to clear out all of that surplus inventory.
CEO Don Thompson in October during the third-quarter earnings
call said that "You will see wings again in the U.S." A spokeswoman
for McDonald's confirmed that was still the case, though she did
not detail when they would return.
Mr. Thompson, during the chain's third-quarter earnings call in
October, admitted the Mighty Wings
didn't meet the chain's sales expectations. "One dollar per
wing was still not considered to be the most competitive in the
current environment. The other thing we saw, and it's a very slight
modification, the flavor profile is slightly spicy for some
The wings may sell better at a discounted price, but sales at a
discounted price are often at the expense of franchisee profits.
According to the Journal, franchisees have been told they need to
participate in another upcoming promotion or else pay for the
excess chicken inventory.
"The question is, what's more precious, advertising dollars
needed to grow sales or the wings McDonald's has on inventory?"
said Richard Adams, a former McDonald's franchisee and current
franchise consultant. "McDonald's corporate develops the product
and tells the suppliers how much to produce -- it's all on them.
Franchisees appear to be saying, 'If you like your Mighty Wings,
you can keep your Mighty Wings.'"
McDonald's promoted Mighty Wings by courting football
fans using its status as the official partner of the National
Football Laeague. "Given the natural tie between wings and
football, the NFL is the perfect partner to help promote our new
Mighty Wings," said a McDonald's spokeswoman at the time,
McDonald's late last year signed on as the official restaurant
of the NFL, a multi-year partnership that allows the chain to use
the 32 team logos and the NFL shield in its marketing.
Franchisees have grown increasingly disgruntled over McDonald's
corporate desire to heavily promote the dollar menu this year, which some
franchisees said customers will generally choose over more