* Touts new item as lower-calorie alternative
* Egg-white options already offered by rivals
LOS ANGELES, March 14 McDonald's Corp
will debut a new egg-white McMuffin in the United States in
April and allow diners to swap out egg whites on all of its
breakfast sandwiches, catching up with rivals already offering
the lower-calorie option.
Dubbed the "Egg White Delight," the new McMuffin will be
available nationwide on April 22, the world's biggest restaurant
chain said on Thursday.
Though McDonald's dominates the fast-food breakfast
category, competitors such as Dunkin' Donuts, Subway
and Starbucks Corp have offered egg whites - lower in
fat and cholesterol than whole eggs - as a breakfast sandwich
choice for years.
The Egg White Delight packs an energy punch of 250 calories,
against 300 calories for McDonald's mainstay Egg McMuffin.
Tested in the Atlanta and Austin markets last year, the new
breakfast sandwich also includes Canadian bacon and white
cheddar cheese in a whole grain English muffin.
The announcement comes as resurgent rivals have made some
gains against McDonald's by introducing more food choices.
"It's a great move. It will broaden (McDonald's) audience,"
particularly diners conscious of cholesterol and fat content,
said Bob Goldin, an executive vice president at food service
consulting firm Technomic.
New Chief Executive Don Thompson, under pressure to revive
McDonald's softening U.S. restaurant sales, said at an investor
conference on Wednesday that the company would also introduce
new breakfast, chicken, fish, beef and beverage options this
McDonald's declined to say how the new McMuffin would be
priced. At a McDonald's in New York City's Times Square, the
regular McMuffin was priced at $3.09 before tax.
The chain has had hits recently with more health-oriented
food such as fruit smoothies.
Still, its "healthy" McLean Deluxe hamburger flopped in the
early 1990s and the company recently said it would drop its
Fruit & Walnut Salad to make way for other items on its menus.