Grimace deserves a moment.
The giant purple monster who pals around with Ronald McDonald has essentially been missing since the 1990s. That change was made because a clown who loves children had become an uncomfortable corporate mascot.
Sadly, when McDonald’s (MCD) – Get Free Report chose to mostly stop using its signature mascot, it also mostly sidelined his friends. That meant that Mayor McCheese, Early Bird, Hamburglar, The Fry Guys, and Grimace stopped being featured in the chain’s ads.
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Certainly McDonald’s stopped using Grimace’s uncle, the poorly-named Uncle O’Grimacey to sell its Shamrock Shake while his purple nephew made sporadic appearances around the world. Grimace was not part of McDonald’s attempts to revive its characters when it brought back a live action Hamburglar in 2015, but he did get some news coverage over the past few years when it was rumored that he was supposed to be a taste bud.
That seems far-fetched given that the beloved purple monster actually comes from Grimace Island, something only people who own the 80s Happy Meal giveaway VHS tape “The Legend of Grimace Island” would know. Of course, some McDonaldland historians would argue that particular special isn’t canon, so Grimace remains a mystery.
Now, however, Ronald McDonald’s right-hand monster has returned and he’s bringing a new shake and a new burger with him.
McDonald’s Menu Adding New QPC, Shake
McDonald’s menus nationwide will add a new take on the Quarter Pounder with Cheese, beginning June 20, Chew Boom reported.
“The new Cheesy Jalapeño Bacon Quarter Pounder with Cheese features the brand’s 100 percent fresh Quarter Pounder patty topped with two slices of American cheese, three half-strips of applewood-smoked bacon, pickled jalapeños, and cheese sauce, all served on a sesame seed bun. The Cheesy Jalapeño Bacon QPC can be enjoyed as a single or double,” according to the food website.
A week before that, on June 13, Grimace will follow in his uncle’s tradition and bring a new shake to the chain’s menu.
“The new Grimace Shake will be available on its own or as part of a new Grimace Birthday Meal, which includes a medium Grimace Shake and medium Fries, served with your choice of a 10-piece Chicken McNuggets or Big Mac. The Grimace Shake is described as a purple berry-flavored shake with a whipped topping,” the website reported.
McDonald’s Leans Into Nostalgia
The kids of the 1970s and 1980s who loved Grimace and the rest of the McDonaldland characters have grown up. Many now have kids of their own and the fast-food chain has been leveraging their fond feelings for those characters to get them to bring their families to McDonald’s.
In late-2022, McDonald’s brought back some of its classic characters as limited-edition Happy Meal toys from Cactus Plant Flea Market, a popular streetwear brand. That collection, which has become a highly-valued collector’s item, included takes on Grimace, Early Bird, and Hamburglar.
Since those toys proved popular with adults and their kids, the chain has sparingly used some of its signature characters. Now, by bringing Grimace back to push a product kids will likely want to try, the company has figured out how to leverage its past to grow its next generation of customers.
You probably won’t see Ronald McDonald make a big comeback (blame “It”) or Mayor McCheese go on CNN to weigh in on the mid-terms, but McDonald’s does seem more open to embracing its past than it has in years.