The Real Reason You Can't Get McDonald's Shamrock Shake Year-Round

It's something that happens every year, just after Valentine's Day, and goes on for about a month, up until St. Patrick's Day — no, we're not talking about Mardi Gras or even Girl Scout Cookie season, but instead, that most wonderful time of the year according to certain McDonald's frozen beverage aficionados — Shamrock Shake season! The shake itself has been around for a whole half-century — in fact, this year, in honor of its big 5-O anniversary, Mickey D's has introduced an Oreo Shamrock McFlurry.

If you can't get enough of the green stuff, you may be wondering — why doesn't McDonald's just add Shamrock Shakes to its year-round everyday menu? The reason? Marketing. It's all about marketing. Just as fall is Starbuck's PSL season, late winter and early spring means it's time to run into Mickey D's to grab a Shamrock Shake before it's too late. Not to mention, CNN points out that limited-edition fast food items such as the Shamrock Shake may not actually be something that people really want year-round.

That time McDonald's sold Shamrock Shakes in the fall

While Shamrock Shakes have forever been associated with St. Patrick's Day, they were actually available for a limited time in the fall of 2019, and only in Philadelphia. Why Philadelphia? Well, it was meant as a tie-in promo to celebrate the start of the Philadelphia Eagles' season. Ok, because the Eagles' jerseys are green... but the Jets and the Packers have green jerseys as well, and McDonald's wasn't selling Shamrock shakes in September in either NYC or Green Bay, Wisconsin.

As the Philadelphia Inquirer reports, the Eagles have a history with Shamrock Shakes. Back in the '70s, the team was involved in fundraising to build a house for the families of children with cancer. Eagles general manager Jimmy Murray contacted a friend at an ad agency, who contacted McDonald's execs, and they promised to donate all the proceeds from that year's Shamrock Shakes if the sponsored building could be named the Ronald McDonald House. Ronald McDonald Houses are now a worldwide phenomenon, but it all began in Philly, where green jerseys met green milkshakes and magic was made.

Whether out-of-season Shamrock Shakes ever return to Philly — or pop up anywhere else — remains to be seen, but at least you've still got a few more weeks this year to get your shake on no matter where you may be.