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17 Fast Food Menu Items That Were Sensational Failures

Ashley Lutz

Fast food companies spend years inventing and testing new menu items. But even with fastidious planning, things can still go horribly wrong.

Look no further than McDonald's McAfrika, which was essentially a burger on a pita. The item was released during massive famines in Africa and was pulled after public outcry.

There are also items that are bizarre, out of place, or just plain gross.

Kim Bhasin contributed to this story.

1. Burger King's Enormous Omelette Sandwich

Burger King's enormous omelette sandwich was released in 2005 and included an egg omelette, sausage, and cheese on a big sesame seed bun. The sandwich was too big for customers and was discontinued.

2. McDonald's Hula Burger

The Hula Burger replaced a meat patty with a grilled pineapple slice. It was meant for Catholics who didn't eat meat on Fridays. But the Filet-o-Fish was much more popular, and the Hula burger died.

3. Pizza & McPizza

McDonald's developed new pizza items in the late 1980s but the items took longer to make than the staple items. Consumers would also rather go to McDonald's for burgers and fries.

4. McSpaghetti

McDonald's tried offering Italian food. In addition to the McSpaghetti, there was lasagna and fettuccine alfredo. The items failed in the U.S. but are still available in some international markets.

5. Jack In The Box Frings

Frings were a combination of onion rings and fries for the indecisive customer. They were released in the 1970's, but discontinued slightly after.

6. McAfrika

The McAfrika had beef, cheese, and tomatoes on a pita sandwich. The sandwich caused a spate of negative publicity in 2002 after it was released during famines in southern Africa. McDonald's apologized and pulled the item.

7. Pizza Hut's Priazzo

The Priazzo was introduced in the 1980's and was similar to a deep-dish Chicago pizza. But it took too long to prepare, and was discontinued.

8. Big N' Tasty

The Big N' Tasty was meant to kill Burger King's Whopper. McDonald's killed the item after expanding its Angus burger line.

9. McDonald's Arch Deluxe

McDonald's spent $100 million marketing the Arch Deluxe in 1996. It contained peppered bacon, lettuce, tomato, cheese, onion, ketchup and secret sauce, but failed massively.

10. McHotDog

The McHotDog was just a basic hot dog. But consumers preferred ordering burgers, and the item was pulled.

11. Sonic's Pickle O's

Sonic introduced fried pickle bites in 2004. Unfortunately, they were unpopular with customers and were discontinued later.

12. McLean Deluxe

The McLean burger was introduced in 1991 and advertised as 91% fat-free. McDonald's replaced fat with seaweed and water. Customers didn't like the taste.

13. McDLT

The McDLT was introduced in the 1980s. The burger came in a styrofoam container that kept the lettuce and tomato separate so the veggies stayed cool. The item was popular but then was squashed by environmental concerns about the packaging.

14. Friendly's Grilled Cheese Burger Melt

The Friendly's grilled cheese burger melt featured a burger patty sandwiched between two entire grilled cheese sandwiches. It had 1,500 calories. The item was pulled after a brief stint in 2010.

15. Burger King's Burger Buddies

The Burger Buddies were sliders that came in a carton akin to White Castle. The small patties were rumored to slip through the fast food chain's famous broilers, leading to their demise.

16. Taco Bell's Bell Beefer

The Bell Beefer was essentially a sloppy joe made from Taco Meat. Customers complained that it fell apart, and Taco Bell eliminated it in the 1980s. There's a Facebook group pleading for its return.

17. McDonald's Super-Size

Super-size was a hit for a decade until independent filmmaker Morgan Spurlock's documentary Super Size Me was released in 2004. The film showed Spurlock eating nothing but McDonald's for a month, and how it negatively affected his body.

It was a PR disaster for McDonald's. By the end of 2004, super-sized portions were gone forever.