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McDonald's drops Angus burger as customers favor Dollar Menu

By Bloomberg News

LAST UPDATED: 5:44 p.m. HST, May 10, 2013

Say goodbye to the Angus Third Pound burger.

McDonald’s Corp. is dropping the $4 sandwich from its U.S. lineup as its hard-hit customers throng to the company’s Dollar Menu. New items are being added, Danya Proud, a company spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. She declined to be specific.

The world’s largest restaurant company has been advertising its Dollar Menu to draw cash-strapped Americans as it struggles to turn around same-store sales. In the past year, the chain, with about 14,100 domestic locations, has also focused on adding healthier options to its menu. Last month, it introduced an egg- white breakfast sandwich with 250 calories.

“If the Angus burger were selling well, I think it would still be on the menu,” said Darren Tristano, executive vice president at Technomic Inc., a consulting firm based in Chicago.

Burgers from specialty chains such as Five Guys Burgers and Fries and Smashburger “are more flavorful and more cravable” than the Angus burger, Tristano said by telephone. “It also has the internal competition with the Big Mac and the Quarter Pounder, which have a loyal following.”

Smashburger, based in Denver, sells burgers for $5.99. Some have fancier toppings, such as truffle mayonnaise and aged Swiss cheese. Five Guys, which is based in Lorton, Virginia, and has more than 1,000 locations, sells hamburgers and hotdogs. One of its cheeseburgers packs 840 calories.

The Angus burgers “may still play a future role on our menu,” Proud said.

McDonald’s introduced the Angus third-pounder burgers in 2009, the same year that McCafe drinks were rolled out across the U.S. The bacon and cheese version has the most calories - -820 — of any McDonald’s burger or sandwich. A Big Mac has 550 calories. Each Angus burger contains about 40 grams of fat.

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