McDonald’s cuts Angus burgers in U.S. as beef prices rise

McDonald’s Corp. said on Thursday it is phasing out one-third pound Angus burgers from U.S. menus, an anticipated move that comes shortly after U.S. beef prices hit a 10-year high.

The company in March said it was weighing the removal of its “premium” Angus burgers to make room for other food options.

“While these burgers will no longer be available in our restaurants, they may still play a future role on our menu,” spokeswoman Danya Proud said.

While prices for beef and other commodities have risen as a result of last summer’s historic drought, overall food costs have not seen the sharp spike experts predicted.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) wholesale beef market report on Thursday morning showed choice beef carcasses rising 24 cents per hundredweight (cwt) to a record $204.91, above the previous record of $204.67 hit late Wednesday (all figures US$).

McDonald’s and other chains have worked to offset higher beef costs by promoting chicken, which is less expensive than beef. To that end, McDonald’s recently introduced premium chicken wraps.

The world’s biggest hamburger chain, which introduced Angus burgers in 2009, has been revamping its menu amid tough competition from revived rivals such as Burger King and Wendy’s.

In March, McDonald’s announced it was cutting Fruit and Walnut Salad and Chicken Selects from menus at its more than 14,000 U.S. restaurants. — Reuters

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