Monday, May 01, 2017

Orange Drink

Place: McDonald's
Lunch: Big Mac, fries, Hi-C Orange Lavaburst

This is one of the ugliest McDonald's locations in the history of the chain, thanks to an arrogant idiotic city council who demanded the building have a specific facade and appear more conservative to blend in with neighboring buildings than the mansard McDonald's buildings of the era.  It's almost like the McDonald's building team got spiteful and designed this as a testament to blandness on purpose.  Well played, McDonald's.  Well played.  There's an equally sad Burger King across the street that looks like it was trying to blend in with a Mennonite community.  Then there's a Taco John's one building away from it that looks like...every Taco John's ever built, proving the city council is a bunch of hypocrites.

Me: "Medium Big Mac combo."

Elderly Counter Guy: "Small, medium, or large?"

A LOT of people are ordering all-day breakfast for some reason.  And they mostly seem to want stuff that isn't actually on the all-day breakfast menu.  One woman did a hybrid order to satisfy her four kids, some getting burgers, some getting breakfast.  So I guess that's all working out.

When it comes to the McDonald's menu, you can't go wrong with the classics, right?  Well, McDonald's is taking away a classic.  McDonald's is replacing the "orange drink" from it's available soft drink options to make way for some sort of new tropical Sprite flavor exclusive to McDonalds.

Fans aren't happy.  Not quite "New Coke" level unhappy, but unhappy enough.  Can you ever remember a time when you couldn't get the sugary (sorry...high fructose corn syrupy) non-carbonated orange non-soda at every McDonald's in North America?  No you can't, because it's been there since the McDonald brothers converted their barbecue drive-in stand into their namesake walk-up and order burger stand.  They were making their own out of blemished oranges they were able to buy on the cheap from local sources...perfectly fine for juicing but not pretty for grocery store sales.  Granted, the stuff they were serving was different than the generic "orange drink" mainstay at the national outlets later replaced by the essentially identical Hi-C branded version, but it's always been there in one form or another.  And it's always been in my regular drink rotation.

It's not a New Coke-level tragedy because, whereas Coke actually discontinued their original cola, you can still get Orange Lavaburst juice boxes at pretty much any supermarket or even on the taps of other fast food chains.  My local Hardee's has it.  Burger King could jump all over this and make sure it's in all their restaurants and do a national promotion.  (I think BK's with the Coke Freestyles have it, but the ones with standard fountains tend to have Hi-C Fruit Punch instead.  In fact, any restaurant with Coke Freestyle machines likely has it.)

While the official launch date of the new drink is today, franchisees can continue selling the orange stuff until they run out of existing supply, the Coke tech guy shows up to change the taps, or I think July 1 if I read correctly.  This location obviously still has it, on two taps, no less.  Why can't one tap become the new stuff and the other have the orange goodness?  Who knows.

If you ask me, this is probably the dumbest move McDonald's has made since replacing the Filet-O-Fish with the Arch Deluxe version years ago.  A move they obviously reversed.

But nobody asks me.