New McDonald's CEO's Grand Plan Involves a Lot of Chicken

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McDonald's ChickenBy Kim Bhasin

McDonald's new CEO Don Thompson has some important decisions to make as he takes the reins of the world's biggest fast food chain, and chicken is going to play a major role, reports Leslie Patton at Bloomberg Businessweek.

He's going to be trying out chicken items from the company's hefty 160-item recipe book, though no specifics have been revealed thus far.

Chicken items present a variety of benefits for a fast food chain like McDonald's (MCD).

McDonald's President Don ThompsonFor instance, chicken items can be priced lower than beef and other proteins. This adds a lot of value for consumers in an economy that's still bogged down. Also, consumers see chicken as healthier than beef, which helps McDonald's brand perception.

So get ready! Thompson has said that he's looking to import more menu items to the U.S. from abroad, and with the recent success of Chicken McBites (which originated in Australia), perhaps we'll see some chicken items that have never been sold in McDonald's home market.

The rest of Thompson's grand plan will follow the same template set by exiting CEO Jim Skinner - known as the "Plan to Win." It's still likely going to expand McCafe, breakfast and dessert.

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