By Jordan Valinsky, CNN Business
McDonald’s is selling a dessert that fans haven’t seen in about five years.
Roughly 6,800 of its 14,000 US restaurants have begun selling a blueberry and crème pie, which is a sweet pastry that’s filled with blueberries and a vanilla-flavored crème and baked in a pie crust. McDonald’s last sold the pie in the US in 2017, but it has occasionally made appearances at international locations since then.
Last month, McDonald’s released another dessert — its holiday pie — in a similar manner that sparked excitement among customers. Chains constantly tweak their menus with niche and oddball products that drum up excitement and social media attention.
Limited-time items are an important marketing tool for the food industry to draw in foot traffic and interest. These items offer consumers some variety — key for fast food, as it’s a notoriously thin-margin business with little customer loyalty. Offering something new gives consumers a reason to come back.
McDonald’s recently said that in the three months ended September 30, sales at global restaurants open at least 13 months jumped 12.7% compared to the same period last year, in part because of the buzz around its celebrity meals.
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