Why Did McDonald’s Stop Selling Country Ham Biscuits?

If you’re a fan of McDonald’s breakfast menu, you may have noticed that the Country Ham Biscuit is no longer available.

This once-popular item has been removed from most McDonald’s locations, leaving many customers wondering why. Was it a lack of demand? A change in ingredients? Or perhaps a decision made by corporate executives?

In this article, we’ll explore the history of the Country Ham Biscuit at McDonald’s and try to uncover the reasons behind its disappearance. From regional testing to custom emojis, we’ll take a deep dive into the world of fast food breakfast and try to answer the burning question: why did McDonald’s stop selling Country Ham Biscuits?

Why Did McDonald’s Stop Selling Country Ham Biscuits?

The Country Ham Biscuit was first introduced to McDonald’s breakfast menu in select regions around 2013. It quickly gained popularity among customers who were looking for a savory breakfast option. The biscuit featured a slice of country ham, a fluffy biscuit, and a dollop of butter.

However, despite its initial success, the Country Ham Biscuit was eventually removed from most McDonald’s locations. So why did McDonald’s stop selling this beloved breakfast item?

One possible reason is that the biscuit was not as profitable as other menu items. According to The Street, the bone-in chicken wings that were also tested around the same time as the Country Ham Biscuit were removed due to high prices and low demand. It’s possible that the same fate befell the Country Ham Biscuit.

Another reason could be related to the availability of ingredients. The country ham used in the biscuit may not have been readily available in all regions, making it difficult for McDonald’s to maintain consistency across its locations.

It’s also worth noting that McDonald’s has made several changes to its breakfast menu over the years. In March of 2020, the company temporarily removed several pastry options from its breakfast menu, including bagels. This could suggest that McDonald’s is constantly evaluating and adjusting its menu offerings based on customer demand and profitability.

The History Of The Country Ham Biscuit At McDonald’s

The Country Ham Biscuit has roots in the southern United States, where it is a beloved breakfast staple. McDonald’s first introduced the biscuit to its breakfast menu in select regions around 2013, but the history of the Country Ham Biscuit goes back much further.

The Goad family, who owned a restaurant in Mount Airy, North Carolina, which is in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, were one of the first to feature Country Ham and Granny Goad’s Biscuits on their menu. This cultural region borders Appalachia and the “Old South,” which is known as the birthplace of the American Biscuit.

Ray and Geneva Goad, the owners of the restaurant, opened their first establishment about ten years after Ray was discharged from the Navy at the end of WWII. Country Ham and biscuits quickly became a customer favorite, and this combination was featured on their menu.

McDonald’s took notice of this southern delicacy and decided to introduce it to their breakfast menu. The Country Ham Biscuit was initially well-received by customers looking for a savory breakfast option. However, due to reasons such as profitability and ingredient availability, McDonald’s eventually removed it from most locations.

Despite its short-lived run at McDonald’s, the Country Ham Biscuit remains a beloved breakfast item in many parts of the southern United States. Its history and cultural significance make it a unique addition to any breakfast menu.

Regional Testing And Success

During its time on the menu, the Country Ham Biscuit was predominantly a regional breakfast food. It was first introduced in select regions around 2013 and was popular enough to warrant its expansion to other regions. However, it was ultimately removed from most locations.

Despite this, some locations in the South still offer the Country Ham Biscuit for breakfast. Exactly where in the US varies, as the biscuits have been spotted everywhere from Tennessee to Michigan. This suggests that the biscuit may have had more success in certain regions than others.

It’s possible that the regional testing of the Country Ham Biscuit played a role in its removal from most McDonald’s locations. If it was not as popular in certain regions, it may not have been worth keeping on the menu nationwide. Additionally, the availability of ingredients could have differed by region, making it difficult for McDonald’s to maintain consistency and quality across all locations.

The Rise Of Health-Conscious Consumers

In recent years, there has been a significant shift in consumer preferences towards healthier food options. This trend has been particularly evident in the fast-food industry, where customers are increasingly seeking out alternatives to the traditional high-fat, high-sugar offerings.

As a result, many fast-food chains have responded by introducing healthier menu items. Subway, Chipotle, and Panera are just a few examples of companies that have successfully capitalized on this trend. These chains offer a variety of fresh and nutritious options such as salads, bowls, and sandwiches made with whole grains and lean proteins.

McDonald’s, however, has been slower to adapt to this changing landscape. The company’s core menu items are still largely centered around burgers, fries, and other high-calorie options. While McDonald’s has made some efforts to introduce healthier options such as salads and wraps, these items have not been as successful as those offered by its competitors.

This failure to keep up with changing consumer preferences is likely one of the reasons why McDonald’s has struggled in recent years. As more and more customers seek out healthier food options, they are turning away from traditional fast-food chains like McDonald’s in favor of alternatives that offer fresher, more nutritious choices.

In response to this trend, some experts have suggested that McDonald’s should consider creating an entirely separate “healthy” menu. By offering a range of fresh and nutritious options alongside its traditional menu items, the company could appeal to both its core customer base and health-conscious consumers.

A Shift In Menu Priorities

In recent years, McDonald’s has shifted its menu priorities to focus on simplification and efficiency. This is evident in the removal of menu items such as salads, which were deemed unpopular and not worth the effort to maintain. The goal is to streamline the ordering process and reduce wait times for customers.

This shift in priorities may have also played a role in the discontinuation of the Country Ham Biscuit. While it was a popular item, it may not have been profitable enough to justify its place on the menu. McDonald’s has been focusing on offering more profitable items such as the Egg McMuffin and Big Mac.

Additionally, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, McDonald’s has had to make further adjustments to its menu. The company temporarily removed several breakfast items, including all-day breakfast and certain pastries, in order to simplify operations and reduce costs.

However, despite these changes, experts believe that McDonald’s will eventually bring back some healthier options such as salads once the pandemic is over and dining rooms reopen. The fast food giant will likely want to expand its menu offerings in order to attract more customers and remain competitive in the market.

The Impact Of COVID-19 On Fast Food Breakfast

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the fast food industry, including the breakfast menu options. McDonald’s, like many other fast food chains, has had to adjust its operations to comply with social distancing guidelines and limit the spread of the virus. As a result, McDonald’s has temporarily suspended its all-day breakfast menu and is focusing on serving its most popular choices.

The closure of seating areas in McDonald’s restaurants has also led to a shift towards drive-thru, takeout, and delivery options. This change in operations has affected the sales of breakfast items, with insights platform Sense360 reporting a 25 percent drop in quick service breakfast sales year-over-year from March 9 to March 22. While all dayparts are dropping, breakfast is seeing the steepest decline.

The impact of COVID-19 on the fast food breakfast industry is not limited to McDonald’s. Taco Bell has also announced that some locations will halt breakfast starting March 18, with those units beginning operation at 10 a.m. Other fast food chains may also make changes to their breakfast menus or adjust their operations to comply with social distancing guidelines.

Custom Emojis And Social Media Hype

Despite its discontinuation, the Country Ham Biscuit has left a lasting impression on some McDonald’s customers. In fact, the “Ham Biscuit” sign used to indicate if a location had the item in stock has become somewhat of a social media phenomenon. Some users have even created custom emojis featuring the sign, using it as a recurring joke in various online communities.

This social media hype could be seen as a testament to the popularity of the Country Ham Biscuit, even after its removal from the menu. It’s possible that McDonald’s may take note of this online buzz and consider bringing back the item in the future.