Do you remember to supersize meals from the mid-1990s at McDonald’s? These over-the-top extra-large meal options on McDonald’s menu are just a thing of the past. So, what is McDonald’s supersize, and why did McDonald’s stop offering them? Let’s take a closer look.
McDonald’s Supersize was a more significant option for French fries and soft drinks offered by McDonald’s. It was introduced in 1987 and discontinued in 2004. The Supersize option was discontinued due to the negative publicity surrounding the supersizes meal impacting people’s health.
Just after the release of the documentary film” Supersize Me” in 2004, McDonald’s faced negative criticism from public and health advocates. The documentary showed a man eating McDonald’s food for 30 days, gaining weight, and being diagnosed with other health-related issues.
But we are still not close to the absolute truth behind why McDonald’s discontinued supersize and what happened in the story. So, today let’s take a trip to the 90s era and find everything in detail about supersize that made the spur of the moment.
What's In The Post
What Is McDonald’s Supersize In Detail?
McDonald’s supersize was a meal that included a supersize soft drink and French fries. Customers would go for bigger meal sizes for only a nominal cost.
When McDonald’s offered Big Macs in 1968, people went crazy over their big-size burgers. McDonald’s already had a big hit with that. After a few years, McDonald’s released a supersized option in 1987 as a summer promotion.
It was only an occasional upsell for value-conscious customers. But the supersize meal soon became the McDonald’s menu’s permanent option.
Supersize meant going from large to supersize by only spending extra 30 cents. Also, customers would upgrade to 44 oz of soft drinks for only 10 cents more. Here, the pricing physiology worked, and customers thought, why not get more food for just a few pennies?
The supersize meal options worked for almost 20 years. But later, in 2004, McDonald’s eliminated the supersize option from their menu.
While pop culture was opting for heavy-calorie foods, health experts mentioned that the supersize option is causing obesity issues in Americans. After listening to customers’ complaints, McDonald’s discontinued the supersize chance.
Why Did McDonald’s Introduce Supersize?
McDonald’s introduced supersize to make it a summer promo. The supersize option available at an affordable price attracted customers, and it became a hit.
Later, McDonald’s extended the offer and made it available on its original menu.
They even started promoting supersize meals for the movie promotions like “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” and ‘’Jurassic Park.”
Moreover, the fast-food chain competition was also quite a growing stage between the 1980s and 1990s. So, McDonald’s decided to take the leverage of the time when big sizes were already a hit with fast-food chains.
Currently, the supersize option is unavailable at McDonald’s, but it did make a huge hit for McDonald’s in the 90s.
Why McDonald’s Get Rid Of Supersize?
Critics say that significant portions of fast food are inadequate for the body, and there has been a significant increase in obesity rates. That’s why McDonald’s removed supersize meal options in 2004
When McDonald’s discontinued the supersize, they gave one statement, “The driving force here was menu simplification.” via CBS News. It’s quite a surprising reasoning that we would not expect.
They also added to the statement that McDonald’s had 145 items in 2013, that’s 85 more than they had in 2007. So, removing a few of the items, like they removed chicken selects, Angus burgers, and some salads, too, is nothing new. They said, “We add and remove items all the time. It’s a part of doing business for us and isn’t new.”
But according to the food critics, McDonald’s didn’t only remove supersize for the sake of their menu simplification. Instead, many external reasons heavily impacted the supersize demise that we will discover in the points below.
1. People Choosing Healthy Options
The awareness of obesity was gripping Americans. Therefore, people started learning about health concerns and slowly eliminated extra calories from their daily required calories.
They started approaching a healthy lifestyle. Hence, there was enormous pressure on fast-food chains to introduce more healthy and low-calorie menu options. As of now, they have already begun to add more healthy alternatives like fruit and yogurt, but at that time, McDonald’s was criticized for how bad their food was.
2. Famous ‘Super Size Me’ Documentary Launched
The documentary Super Size Me brought attention to the health issues related to McDonald’s large portion sizes and the Supersize option. The film followed filmmaker Morgan Spurlock as he ate nothing but McDonald’s for 30 days, always ordering the Supersize option.
As a result, he gained 24.5 pounds and suffered major health problems. The film received significant media attention and criticized McDonald’s for enabling customers to overeat. That was a big hit on McDonald’s business and was why McDonald’s decided to ditch the supersize option.
3. Criticism Of Public
As soon as the “Supersize Me” documentary was released, people started criticizing the supersize option at McDonald’s. The public blamed McDonald’s for rising obesity rates in Americans and pressured McDonald’s to eliminate the so-called supersize chance.
Critics argued that promoting large portions and supersizing meals for just a few extra cents encouraged the overconsumption of unhealthy foods.
4. Accounted For Fading Popularity
Customer demand for the Supersize option had diminished by 2004. The negative publicity around supersizing meals convinced some health-conscious customers to avoid the option. Therefore, discontinuing Supersize was an effort by McDonald’s to repair its public image.
After scrutinizing each reason, we have doubled the surety of why McDonald’s calls it off the supersize meal.
How Discontinuing The Supersize Affected McDonald’s?
McDonald’s decided that they are discontinuing the supersize meal. They thought it would improve their brand image and appeal to health-conscious customers. The move was initially seen as a positive step by McDonald’s, and it showed that they were listening to customers.
McDonald’s profits were still growing in numbers. Statista (a famous company reports website) reported around 1.9 billion US dollars of revenue in 2005, just after supersize was discontinued. And in 2006, they reported a revenue of about 2.9 billion US dollars, continuing with 2-3% of sales growth every year.
So, as per the data, McDonald’s sales were unaffected by the discontinuation of the supersize meal option. They gained around 5.7% growth in the first quarter of 2004. McDonald’s reported 42% of sales growth in 2004, but it was basically because of the cost-cutting strategies rather than higher sales.
Despite many lawsuits that targeted McDonald’s for selling unhealthy foods, they made good sales numbers.
Moreover, after the discontinuation of supersize, McDonald’s faced criticism for a long time, and till today, people consider McDonald’s food unhealthy and only meant for occasional eating.
McDonald’s iconic supersize option changed the fast-food world forever. Supersized meal options were always in the news for causing obesity rates in America. To respond better, McDonald’s decided to dump the supersize meal. The Big Mac burger remains the only biggest burger on the McDonald’s menu.
Similarly, you can read other intriguing facts on our blog, like McDonald’s selling ice bags. Keep yourself updated with new changes on McDonald’s menu only on TheFoodXP.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What was McDonald’s supersize option?
Customers could choose to supersize a combo meal for an extra cost when ordering a combo meal. This meant they got a much more extensive drink and french fries than the regular meal.
Does McDonald’s still offer supersize?
No, McDonald’s doesn’t offer supersize as of now. They discontinued the supersize option in 2004.
Why did McDonald’s stop supersizing?
McDonald’s got rid of its official supersize option in 2004 for a few reasons, such as health concerns, criticism, a shift in a health-friendly market, and lawsuits.
How big is supersize McDonald’s?
McDonald’s supersize is a 7-ounce carton of drinks and French fries.