Whatever Happened To McDonald's Shamrock Sundae?

It's that time of year again: Shamrock Shake season. The McDonald's seasonal shake for the month of March pays homage to the signature color of St. Patrick's Day. The McDonald's website lists the ingredients as vanilla soft serve and the elusive "Shamrock Shake Syrup." The latter gives the shake its classic light green color. McDonald's also uses a similar minty syrup in its Oreo McFlurry to make a mint chocolate treat.

According to Eating Well, the syrup is primarily various types of corn syrup and sugar paired with natural flavor, preservatives, and artificial colorings. This alone doesn't sound too appetizing, but avid fans of the emerald treat know it's so much more than the sum of its parts. There's something about the green ingredient that garners a cult following. Because of this, McDonald's has kept it coming to every St. Patrick's Day for over 50 years. There was a brief hiatus starting in 1990, but in the 2000's it was brought back because it was so popular(via Vox). Some people may remember a companion menu item that has yet to make a return — the Shamrock Sundae.

The Shamrock Sundae was discontinued in 1980

After ten years on the market, the Shamrock Shake got a counterpart: the Shamrock Sundae. Introduced in 1980, the sundae was made with McDonald's ice cream. The regular vanilla soft serve was drizzled with the neon green Shamrock Syrup, according to Spoon University. Unfortunately, the Shamrock Sundae didn't see the same success as the shake, and it was discontinued just one year later. According to Buzzfeed, this was due to low sales. This may come as a surprise because of the original Shamrock Shake's popularity.

As Fansided mentions, perhaps the fluorescent green color was off-putting for some. Without the vanilla ice cream to dilute the flavor, the syrup was drizzled on top in its concentrated state. There may still be hope, though; the shake was brought back after being discontinued because fans continually demanded it, so die-hard fans of the sundae might have the power to bring it back one day. More recently, Popsugar reports, McDonald's brought back Hi-C to its fountain drink selections after significant fan pressure and even a petition.