McDonald's Latest Innovation Is an Over-Engineered Straw

'Utterly Frivolous Invention' Arrives Just in Time for Shamrock Season

Published On
Feb 15, 2017

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Forget the Mac Jr. Forget healthier Chicken McNuggets and all-day breakfast. McDonald's latest innovation is a straw.

Today on Facebook Live, the fast feeder hosted a twenty-minute, unabashedly Apple-inspired event to promote its latest invention -- a J-shaped straw with strategically-placed holes designed to optimize your consumption of its frosty drink treats, which this season will include a new Chocolate Shamrock Shake, featuring double layers of chocolate underneath the familiar green stuff.

Hosted by tech YouTuber Austin Evans, it also stars real McDonald's team member Darci Forrest, senior director of the company's innovation team, as well as legit robotics and aerospace engineers from the firms JACE and NK Labs who developed the new tool.

Formally named Suction Tube for Reverse Axial Withdrawal (the STRAW, for short), the admittedly "utterly frivolous" device is designed to provide the "optimal flavor flow dynamics" -- that is, "the ideal flavor ratio of 50% chocolate and 50% mint in each sip," according to McDonald's announcement.

"It was a puzzling assignment but one with an ambitious goal," said Seth Newburg, principal engineer and managing partner at NK Labs in the statement. "From a physics perspective, it's actually quite difficult to deliver a proportional amount of both chocolate and mint flavors with each sip. But that's exactly what we did. It's a marvel of fluid dynamics. Thanks Fibonacci sequence." (See the engineers' behind-the-scenes here.)

The program was created out of McDonald's PR agency Golin. The company produced only 2,000 STRAWs for Shamrock season. They'll be available at select participating restaurants with the purchase of a Chocolate Shamrock Shake. The McDonald's website will provide info on where the "devices" will be distributed.