New chicken sandwiches have been some of the most popular items to draw customers to McDonald's this year, but they aren't the reason the chain is currently experiencing a record amount of foot traffic at its locations. Rather, it's the highly anticipated BTS meal that launched in the United States on May 26.
According to Business Insider, McDonald's has seen a significant spike in the number of customers visiting its locations after just one week of selling the pop group's meal. Restaurant visits were up by 12% over the previous week, amounting to more demand than the chain has seen all year.
And while we've come to expect celebrity collaborations to boost sales at McDonald's, reports say that the BTS meal has already outpaced the super-successful Travis Scott meal from last year. The Quarter Pounder bundle, which was advertised as Scott's go-to Mickey D's order, boosted weekly traffic by 9%. It was the first celeb-endorsed meal to land on the menu in 30 years and ended up being a lucrative one for both the rapper and the fast-food giant. However, based on its initial popularity, the BTS meal is on track to reach new heights of success.
Unlike previous collaborations, McDonald's is launching this one worldwide—the BTS meal will soon be available in 50 countries on six continents. And besides the fact that the K-pop group has hordes of devoted fans who are swarming the restaurants and buying up the related merchandise, there's another differentiator that makes this meal enticing even to those outside of the pop group's orbit. The BTS meal brings previously unavailable flavors to American customers with two new dipping sauces. The Sweet Chili and the Cajun, which were inspired by McDonald's Korea, made their stateside debut exclusively with the meal and have so far gotten positive reviews.
Celebrity meals have proven to be a clever way for fast-food brands to stay relevant with younger consumers in recent years. "They look to recommendations much more than any other generation has. They're very reliant on social media. They're very reliant on their friends," McDonald's Chief Marketing Officer Morgan Flatley told Business Insider last year during the height of the Travis Scott campaign.
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