McDonald’s Gets Creative With New Menu Items, Including the ‘Grandma McFlurry’

By: Amanda Kusumowidagdo | Published: May 26, 2024

Buckle up for a sweet new treat for the summer: McDonald’s introducing a new flavor for its ice cream dessert, McFlurry.

This year will be the birth year of the “Grandma McFlurry,” dedicated to all the grandmothers who always keep mystery candies for their grandchildren in their pockets.

Sweet, Just Like Grandma

What does the new McFlurry taste like? McDonald’s won’t confirm the flavors, but described the Grandma McFlurry to be “sweet, just like grandma.”

A pink cup with McDonald’s logo filled with ice cream, cream and sauce on top

Source: McDonald’s USA, LLC/McDonald’s Official Website

It will feature a delicious syrup and chopped, crunchy pieces (reminiscent of grandma’s favorite treats), all blended in creamy vanilla soft serve. McDonald’s says it’s the perfect sweet treat to share with grandma or a grandma-like figure in your life.

Reddit Users Speculate

Naturally, people’s curiosity is piqued. The Internet has already launched a probe into the real flavor of the Grandma McFlurry.

An open bag of Werther’s Original with candies wrapped in golden paper spilling out of it

Source: Paul Hurst/Wikimedia Commons

Per CNN, Reddit users are already claiming the taste will be butterscotch, similar to Wether’s Original candy. This candy seems to be a favorite among grandmothers. Another alternative might be caramel.

A Special Place in Our Hearts

“Grandmas have always held a special place in our hearts, and today they’re having a major moment influencing culture – inspiring trends in fashion, decor, and now, even food with our newest McFlurry,” said Tariq Hassan, Chief Marketing and Customer Experience Officer at McDonald’s.

Two creamy cups next to French fries on a tray besides a Grandma McFlurry brown bag

Source: McDonald’s USA, LLC/McDonald’s Official Website

“The Grandma McFlurry tastes like a trip down memory lane, and we’re excited to give our fans that experience while honoring the grandma figure in all our lives.”

Grandma Songs

McDonald’s is not just releasing a dessert. To commemorate the special “grandmotherly” occasion, it’s partnering with two breakthrough artists, Remi Wolf and Jay Wheeler, who will record hit remakes for the McFlurry’s release.

An elderly black woman with a younger black woman lying next to each other

Source: McDonald’s Official Channel/Youtube

The songs are “oldies reimagined with a new sound.” Singer-songwriter Wolf is covering the classic song “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)” (available on all music platforms on May 21.) Meanwhile, two-time Latin Grammy nominee and Puerto Rican star Jay Wheeler is covering “Piel Canela,” an iconic Latin song.

Ahead of the Launch

Before the Grandma McFlurry became officially available on May 21 in participating restaurants, McDonald’s rolled out Grandma’s McFlurry Mobile, the fast food joint’s take on the ice cream truck, to offer the free tasting of the new dessert.

A pink truck bearing the McDonald’s logo and the title Grandma’s McFlurry Mobile

Source: PIX11 News/Youtube

The ice cream truck would play McDonald’s jingle as it made its way throughout New York City, passing through Herald Square – 104 W 35th St, New York, NY 10018 (on the corner of W 34th St. and Broadway).


Elderly Welfare

In New York, McDonald’s McFlurry Mobile made stops in senior centers and assisted living homes to “create more moments of connection between grandparents – a generation that often deals with loneliness – and their families.”

Two elderly women holding cups sitting on a bench in the outdoors

Source: Centre for Ageing Better/Pexels

And to show its corporate social responsibility, McDonald’s also plans to donate to Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly, a national organization with a mission to support older adults cope with loneliness and isolation.


All Things Grandma

Funnily enough, releasing a McFlurry based on the image of a nice, elderly grandma might be McDonald’s way to reach out to the Gen Zers on TikTok who’ve lately been into a trend called “grandmacore.”

A collection of clothes, shoes, and items with text explaining the Grandmacore aesthetics concept

Source: lilacdewdrop/Pinterest; heritageacreshomesteadchas/Instagram

It’s an aesthetic currently popular that draws inspiration from grandma-like coziness and a grandma’s stereotypical interests. These things include knitting and baking. The fashion involved includes knit sweaters, Mary Jane shoes, and flowery socks.


The Other Side of the Spectrum

While McDonald’s continues to attempt to create buzzy food items, like the Grimace Shake, that would go viral on TikTok, on the other side of that, the company is actually facing serious problems.

Two boys holding purple cups next to a fluffy purple monster with the McDonald’s logo in the background

Source: The Prince Family Clubhouse/Youtube

More and more customers are shying away from eating at McDonald’s because of the pressure from inflation and rising prices. Even their plan of offering a $5 meal deal has suffered a setback.


$5-Meal Problems

Rumor has it that the $5 Meal Deal from McDonald’s would include four items (a McChicken or McDouble, four-piece chicken nuggets, fries and a drink). But the bad news is that this deal would only last for one month, starting June 25, instead of being a longer-term or permanent deal.

Hamburgers, fries, wedges, nuggets, and sauces with the red McDonald’s paper container spread on a table

Source: ready made/Pexels

Customers are already complaining about the short period of availability. X, formerly Twitter, users call it “a slap in the face” and “doesn’t sound like much of a commitment to its customers.” Someone even asked, “Why even bother then?”


CEO Speaks Out

On a recent earnings call, McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski had to be “laser focussed on affordability.” He said, “I think it’s important to recognize that all income cohorts are seeking value. What we don’t have in the US right now is a national value platform.”

A stack of McDonald’s meal containers piled up together in a basket tray

Source: Lance Lozano/Unsplash

The Coca-Cola Company reportedly offered to help fund the deal. But another problem arose: many franchisees are rejecting the $5 Meal Deal, fearing further loss of earnings.


Particular Issue in California

Loss of earnings is a concern mainly weighing down on McDonald’s branches in California. The new minimum wage law that raised fast food workers’ pay to $20 per hour has already driven many McDonald’s franchises to raise their prices in the state.

A man holding up two burgers with the McDonald’s and Wendy’s logo on top of each burger

Source: Good Mythical Morning/Youtube

No amount of McFlurrys will make up for the disappointment over the short period of availability of the $5 Meal Deal. As an X user wrote, “So McDonald’s is doing a 5 dollar meal deal for one month. […] Wendy’s already has multiple meal deals starting at 5 dollars. So unless McDonald’s makes it permanent, people will go to Wendy’s for the meal deal.”