The new nuggs are set to arrive nationwide next month.

By Mike Pomranz
August 25, 2020
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As the world’s reigning fast food champion, McDonald’s doesn’t always feel the need to keep up with the latest quick-service crazes. Ronald and company have been slow to jump on the plant-based meat bandwagon. And they’ve taken their time with trying to rival the Popeyes chicken sandwich. But with some popular innovations, even MickeyD’s has to say, “Why not?” Come on… Who can resist spicy nuggs?

Starting September 16, in what McDonald’s is billing as “the first-ever flavor innovation” for Chicken McNuggets, the burger giant will be introducing Spicy Chicken McNuggets nationwide. And that’s not all: The chicken’s accompanying tiny sauce tubs are also getting a new twist: Mighty Hot Sauce. Both items are for a limited time only.

Credit: McDonald's

“This is the first time we’ve introduced a new flavor of our classic Chicken McNuggets in the U.S. since they came to menus in 1983,” Linda VanGosen, McDonald’s vice president of menu innovation, said in the announcement. “As our customers have been asking for Spicy McNuggets for some time now, we couldn’t think of a better time to bring them to our menus. We can’t wait for McNuggets fans to get a taste of these new spicy options.”

The new flavored nuggets are described as being “breaded with a tempura coating made of both cayenne and chili peppers.” Meanwhile, the new Mighty Hot Sauce is said to boast “a blend of crushed red pepper and spicy chilis, balanced with savory garlic and a hint of sweetness,” the brand’s first new dipping sauce since 2017.

Additionally, in some only tangentially nugg-related news, McDonald’s says they’ll be introducing a new Chips Ahoy! McFlurry on the same day—also for a limited time—since “spice enthusiasts eventually need to cool off.”

As fast food aficionados likely recall, spicy nuggets had their moment in the sun in May of 2019 when Chance the Rapper led an unintentional social media campaign for Wendy’s to bring their limited-time only Spicy Nuggets back to the menu. Two million Twitter likes later and Spicy Nuggets are still sold at Wendy’s today. So clearly, McDonald’s see the promotional possibilities in bringing a bit of spice to their bite-size chicken pieces.

For the record, though Spicy Chicken McNuggets are new to the U.S.A., McDonald’s has offered similar products in other parts of the world. For instance, McDonald’s Singapore currently has a version of the hot menu item on its menu, and McDonald’s Japan released spicy nuggs this past June, according to SoraNews24.

McDonald’s in the United Kingdom has also sold Spicy Chicken McNuggets in the past year. And as I was in England at the time, I got to try them. Unfortunately, I have to report back that the U.K. iteration wasn’t very hot at all. In fact, had I not been told they were “spicy,” I may not even have noticed. Hopefully, in America, where people tend to be more accepting of spice, McDonald’s will actually bring the heat.