(Gene J. Puskar/AP)
McDonald's is making some big changes to its core menu item: the Big Mac.
The chain is launching a "Mac Jr" and a "Grand Mac" nationwide for a limited time in early 2017, the company said Thursday.
The Mac Jr. is a miniature version of the Big Mac with a single 1/6-pound burger patty.
The Grand Mac features 66% more beef than the regular Big Mac, an extra slice of cheese, and a larger bun.
The regular Big Mac has two 1/10-pound burger patties, three pieces of bread, and two slices of cheese, special sauce, lettuce, pickles, and onions.
"The Big Mac is a legend and a great-tasting burger with hints of pickle relish, mustard, garlic and onions," McDonald’s Chef Mike Haracz said in a statement. "We listened to our customers who told us they wanted different ways to enjoy the one-of-a-kind Big Mac taste. The classic combination of ingredients remains timeless and customers around the world continue to enjoy its signature taste."
Some customers will be able to try to burgers in advance of the national rollout. They will be available in Florida and the Pittsburgh area beginning in mid-November.
The chain tested the new burgers earlier this year at hundreds of restaurants in central Ohio and Dallas/Ft. Worth.
At the time of the test, Nomura analysts Mark Kalinowski said McDonald's willingness to tweak its core menu was a good sign for the burger chain.
"We view the new tests... as a sign of the company's evolving willingness to have no 'untouchables' on the menu," Kalinowski wrote in a note to clients.
He said he's hoping McDonald's also tweaks its french fries.
"We look forward to some of the french fry line extensions we've seen overseas (such as McDonald's Australia's Loaded Fries) perhaps being tested stateside one day, if we're fortunate," he wrote.
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