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Chicken Sandwich Proxy Battle Playing Out Over MSG Use

Jayson Derrick

McDonald's Corp (NYSE: MCD) is testing a new chicken sandwich across three states and the National Owners Association is urging McDonald's franchise owners not to "get distracted" with inaccurate media reports concerning MSG.

What Happened With McDonald's

The National Owners Association said in its letter to members that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration deems MSG safe for use in food and it is used by "all of our Chicken Sandwich competitors," according to Nation's Restaurant News. In fact, McDonald's doesn't have a single nation-wide item with MSG -- a claim some of its competitors can't make.

Restaurant Brands International Inc's (NYSE: QSR) Popeyes chain sells multiple items nationwide with MSG, a company representative told NRN. Similarly, Chick-fil-A's classic chicken sandwich and chicken strips both contain MSG. However, McDonald's is on the receiving end of some negative press.

Why MSG Use Is Important

Many consumers link headaches and other physical symptoms with MSG, but the FDA notes the absence of any conclusive findings from scientific studies. McDonald's told NRN its new chicken sandwich received a "positive response" from consumers.

McDonald's also told NRN feedback and insights from its chicken sandwich tests will "inform our decisions moving forward."

McDonald's stock trades around $213 per share.

Related Links:

McDonald's Teases New Chicken Sandwiches

Popeyes Marketing Exec: Sandwich Success 'Involved Zero TV Advertising'


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