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McDonald's launches BTS meal collaboration in the U.S. with merchandise drop

Tonya Garcia

Available starting 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, the McDonald's/BTS merchandise collection will include socks, sandals and bathrobes.

McDonald's Corp. (MCD) announced the launch of its latest celebrity collaboration in the U.S. on Wednesday, this one with global K-pop superstars BTS.

The BTS meal includes a 10-piece Chicken McNuggets with Sweet Chili and Cajun dipping sauces, which are inspired by the McDonald's menu in South Korea, a medium-sized drink and medium-sized French fries.

The meal will roll out in other parts of the globe through the rest of May and June, ultimately available in 50 countries. This is the first McDonald's celebrity meal that will be available globally.

McDonald's first took to Twitter last month to announce the BTS meal.

In addition to the meal, McDonald's is also launching a merchandise collaboration with the band, which will drop on Wednesday at 7p.m. ET. The lineup will include socks, sandals and bathrobes.

And the fast-food giant will make "digital surprises" available every week for four weeks exclusively on the McDonald's app, a first for the company.

McDonald's has previously had successful collaborations with musical acts including Travis Scott and J Balvin (link), part of the company's new Famous Orders program.

The Travis Scott collaboration was credited with a September 2020 sales bump. Together, McDonald's says the meals drove sales in the second half of the year.

Moreover, these meals attract younger customers and McDonald's app users who receive discounts for ordering digitally.

BTS has 30 million followers on Twitter, 42.2 million Instagram followers and 34.4 million followers on TikTok. The K-pop band was the top-selling act of 2020, according to BBC News (link).


McDonald's reported first-quarter earnings that surpassed 2019 levels last month (link).

"McDonald's same-store sales momentum is being driven by strong digital sales (14% of US sales), faster drive-thru times, digital marketing (20million active U.S. app users and greater engagement on social media) and the successful launch of its crispy chicken sandwich platform (late Feb.)," wrote Truist analysts in a note published post-earnings.

"McDonald's expects sales momentum to be sustained by the national launch of its new loyalty program this summer (testing 'incredibly well'), the May launch of itsBTS 'famous orders' promotion and additional iterations of its new crispy chicken sandwich."

Truist rates McDonald's stock buy with a $255 price target.

McDonald's stock is up 8.8% for the year to date while the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 12.4% for the period.

This story first published on April 20, 2021.

-Tonya Garcia; 415-439-6400;


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05-26-21 1308ET

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