Chief marketing officer Tony Weisman called the product one of the most popular bakery launches “we’ve ever done,” in October. He added that customers weren’t trading off daypart business. Instead, Dunkin’ “just saw them choosing to come back in the afternoon now that we have something for them that paired well with the beverages.”
READ MORE: Why Dunkin' was 2018's most transformational brand.
McDonald’s posted global same-store sales of 4.2 percent, year-over-year, in the third quarter, marking 13 consecutive quarters of positive global gains. U.S. comps increased 2.4 percent, international lifted 5.4 percent, and “high growth” international markets saw a 4.6 percent boost.
McDonald’s breakfast business has been a moving target for years. The chain introduced all-day breakfast in fall 2015 to stellar results. It expanded September 2016 to include McGriddle sandwiches and made both McMuffin and biscuit sandwiches available at all restaurants.
The challenged that surfaced recently isn’t necessarily the products—it’s the daypart itself. McDonald’s isn’t selling as many items pre-lunch as it used to. McDonald’s has improved its McCafe platform and continued to innovate in an effort to reenergize sales. The fact the Donut Sticks will be available only for breakfast speaks to this goal.
“We're still losing a little share. It's very competitive out there at breakfast,” Easterbrook added in the October call. “…we haven't had much new food news at breakfast for a little while.” That appears to be changing.
“We want to do better at breakfast,” he continued. “We've got some initiatives in place, which we're going to see out through the next few months and also some new food news, which we think will reenergize the daypart.”