Grimace shakes help McDonald’s sales go through the roof.

Grimace shakes help McDonald's sales go through the roof.

Grimace shakes help McDonald’s sales go through the roof. When McDonald’s introduced a limited-edition purple shake in honor of Grimace’s birthday, it probably did not expect it to go viral on TikTok as quickly as it did, with TikTokers posting videos of themselves sipping the dessert drink and then writhing in mock agony or playing dead shortly after.

However, the mini-horror films inspired individuals to purchase shakes (if only to create more videos). And due to Grimace’s influence, second-quarter sales increased dramatically.

During Thursday’s analyst call, CEO Chris Kempczinski stated, “This quarter’s theme is if I’m being sincere, a grimace.” “Grimace has been everywhere over the past few months… this viral phenomenon is further evidence of McDonald’s marketing prowess today.”

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The brand’s marketing efforts have resulted in higher food quality evaluations, according to Kempczinski. “The more our customers love our brand, the more they love our food,” he declared.

In the United States, sales at McDonald’s restaurants open for at least 13 months increased by 10.3% during the quarter ending on June 30. The start date for the special meal and shake McDonald’s offered to commemorate Grimace’s birthday was June 12. The company noted that sales at restaurants open for at least a year increased by 11.7% globally, primarily due to growth in China. The total sales for the quarter increased by 14%.

In a statement about its second-quarter results, McDonald’s attributed its growth in the United States to “culturally relevant brand and marketing campaigns,” as well as menu price increases and changes in delivery.

Grimace’s birthday “quickly became one of our most socially engaging campaigns of all time,” said CFO Ian Borden on the call, describing it as “a true demonstration of how the power of our brand emerges in organic and creative ways in our fans.”

The campaign “contributed to the strong double-digit comparable sales growth for the quarter in the US,” he stated.

It wasn’t just the shake when McDonald’s introduced unique Grimace products in early June. The Grimace Birthday Meal included McNuggets, a Big Mac, and french fries. In addition, McDonald’s introduced a video game and Grimace merchandise as part of the celebration.

McDonald’s USA’s chief marketing and customer experience officer, Tariq Hassan, said, “Grimace’s Birthday is all about paying tribute to the amazing, fun moments we share.” Grimace is the ideal lovable icon for McDonald’s to connect with its customers at the intersection of nostalgia and culture.

In the TikTok videos, grimace is not portrayed as a lovable icon in which people wish him a good birthday before consuming the shake. He seems more like a homicidal, vengeful… whatever Grimace is.

McDonald’s acknowledged the situation by tweeting an image of Grimace with the phrase “me pretending I don’t see the grimace shake trend” in late June. When it was time for Grimace to return to Grimace Island, the company tweeted, “u made me feel so special ty.”

The fast food chain is especially adept at launching customer-resonating promotions. McDonald’s Cactus Plant Flea Market Box, also known as the adult Happy Meal, performed so well in October that it helped turn restaurant traffic in the fast food industry from negative to positive, according to data from, which uses mobile location data to estimate visits.

New restaurant design forthcoming

McDonald’s is planning new sorts of locations for the future.

McDonald’s intends to test a new concept called “CosMc’s” in select locations in 2019. “CosMcs is a small format concept with all of McDonald’s DNA but its unique personality,” Kempczinski said, adding that McDonald’s will provide additional information at its investor day at the end of the year.

CosMc is a McDonald’s character, like Grimace. He is an extraterrestrial.

Looking at its overall presence in the United States, Kempczinski stated, “Our footprint reflects what the population probably looked like 20 or 30 years ago.” “There are several locations in the United States where we are considerably underdeveloped relative to the population density. This opens up a multitude of development opportunities for us to pursue.

Now that delivery is so popular, McDonald’s is considering opening smaller format stores requiring less on-site dining space. In the past, these options were effectively “off-limits,” he explained.

The proposal arrives at a time when consumers are hesitant to spend.

During the conference call, Kempczinski stated, “Concern for the American consumer is evident in their sentiment.” He added that McDonald’s is still in a favorable position.

Our business and value positioning on the market, particularly, have positioned us well to endure this storm. He said McDonald’s had seen evidence of individuals trading down from full-service or fast-casual restaurants.

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