McDonald's Japan has introduced a new item on its food menu to help boost plummeting sales in the Asian country. "McChoco Potatoes" or French fries covered in chocolate sauce was introduced this week and will be served until February in McDonald's stores across Japan.
While the food giant is performing better in other parts of the world like the US – where it reported a 5.7% rise in sales over the last three months of 2015 and Russia where it has plans to open 60 stores in 2016 – in Japan, the business has suffered because of a series of food scandals and supply issues.
In 2015, sales at McDonald's Japan suffered because of reports suggesting that foreign objects –including a piece of plastic and what appeared to be a human tooth – were found in its chicken nuggets and French fries.
In the same year, the company said that it would close about 130 of its stores and refurbish 2,000 stores over the next four years. The Nikkei business newspaper had reported that McDonald's had approached investors to selling a stake in its Japanese business for ¥100bn (£587m, €772m, $842m).
Earlier in 2014, over 3,000 McDonald's outlets across Japan had announced that they would be selling only small portions of fries as a protracted dispute between dockworkers and terminal operators in the US had caused severe import delays. All these problems at the food chain reflected in its results, which for the first nine months of 2015, was a net loss of ¥29bn.
Meanwhile, a McDonald's said in a statement that "the latest fry innovation to hit their menu – a tasty twist on one of the Golden Arches' classics", would be available at participating restaurants across Japan from 26 January, there was no mention on whether the new item would be launched at McDonald's outlets in other countries.
However, according to Rocket News, McDonald's Japan will stop serving the 'McChoco Potatoes' post Valentine's Day.