The Truth About McDonald's McSpaghetti

You may not realize this, but there is a long line of misses among the hits that McDonald's has served up since it opened its first franchise in 1955 (via Britannica). There's the Hula Burger (a meatless grilled pineapple slice topped with cheese), there's McPizza (which looked like a hot pocket and took too long to cook), and there was the Arch Deluxe, a Quarter Pounder with peppered bacon, lettuce, tomato, cheese, onions, ketchup, and a secret sauce meant just for adults. And there's McSpaghetti, which Business Insider reported alongside all of McDonald's other failed products. 

Except that McSpaghetti is alive and well in some markets, specifically in the Philippines, where the McDonald's Philippines could have come up with the idea in the first place. Reader's Digest says the original McSpaghetti was first introduced in the United States in the 1980s. It didn't gain traction, though, until 1986, when McDonald's Philippines' CEO George Yang told the Philippine Star that he had lobbied for the inclusion of a dish that could win over local diners. That dish was McSpaghetti (two other additions would follow: Chicken McDo in 1987, and the Burger McDo in 1993).

McSpaghetti comes with a sweet meat sauce

But McDonald's biggest competitor, Jollibee, talks about McSpaghetti's debut in a slightly different way: that it had been serving a pasta with a sweet meat sauce and hotdog slices that had a distinctly Philippine flavor — and that McDonald's had taken the hint and began serving its McSpaghetti and other items geared toward its target market (via ABS-CBN).

Reporters from SoraNews 24 ventured to McDonald's to try the McSpaghetti back in 2013, and while the noodle's texture was declared perfect, its sauce was proclaimed too sweet, and said it would benefit from a bit of salt. But they did enjoy the fried chicken that came with the pasta.

McSpaghetti, as it exists today obviously, caters to the palate of its Filipino customer base and appears to be doing a good job of it. But by the looks of things, McSpaghetti isn't destined to appear on any McDonald's menu outside of the Philippines anytime soon.