The Subtle Change McDonald's Is Making To Its Burger Buns

You may notice something a little different about your McDonald's burger the next time you swing through the drive-thru. According to Business Insider, the chain has been trying out new bun preparation methods for the past several years, launching as early as 2019 at locations across Canada and Australia. And it turns out the enhanced quality has been boosting sales, said Ian Borden, who heads up the international division at McDonald's. In late 2020, the corporation decided to roll out the new preparation methods — including an improved grilling approach — on a larger scale to more countries, including the U.S.

According to a press release (found at McDonald's website) that was issued in November 2020, the chain announced a new growth strategy that honed in on the company's MCD branding — that is, marketing; core products; and digital, delivery, and drive-thru options. Included within their "committing to the core" tier was putting a greater emphasis on popular menu items, like McDonald's classic burgers.

The press release notes this includes enhancing the burger appeal through several methods, one of which includes ensuring buns are toasted to a golden brown color through enhanced grilling to release more flavor. 

Here's what McDonald's customers think about the improvements

The reaction to the announcement has been positive over on Reddit, with one commenter saying, "Maybe this means they will stop tasting so dry and tough." But, will the average consumer really be able to tell that much of a difference between the old hamburger buns and the newly toasted variety? According to Business Insider, Ian Borden (McDonald's president of international business) noted that when the new buns were rolled out in Australia and Canada, there was a "dramatic difference in both taste and quality."

However, when trying out the improved options, writers at Eat This, Not That noted that the new offering wasn't really that indistinguishable from its predecessor, stating, "We were impressed with the new buns while also noting that, really, the old ones were still pretty good." The outlet also reported that the other changes to the bread include greater moisture retention that allows the heat of the burger to last until the product is actually in the consumer's hands, as well as an overall thicker bun. While Eat This, Not That additionally noted that McDonald's has not announced an official roll-out date for the new buns across the United States, based on internal research, it does appear that they are now available in New York City and Los Angeles.