Why McDonald’s ditched one of its healthier menu items

(NEXSTAR) -- If you want to grab a bowl of leafy greens from McDonald's, you're out of luck. The fast food giant doesn't plan on bringing back salads anytime soon.

While McDonald's is best known for its beloved french fries, hamburgers and chicken nuggets, salads had become a fixture on its menu throughout the years.

The seemingly healthier option first debuted in 1987 when McDonald's introduced three salad varieties: chef, chicken and garden. Then, in 2000, the company launched the McSalad Shaker, a green mix served in a plastic cup. But the Shakers were discontinued in 2003 and replaced with a premium line of salads, featuring grilled chicken, grape tomatoes, and Newman's Own dressing.

Since then, McDonald's has offered similar items, like its Southwest Style Salad with Chicken. During the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the burger joint nixed salads to "simplify its menu" as it streamlined operations, the Wall Street Journal reported back in 2020.

Four years later, and they still haven't made a come back.

McDonald’s plant-based burger wasn’t popular among customers, company says

Joe Erlinger, McDonald’s USA president, confirmed salads won't be returning to restaurants nationally because "the demand just isn't there."

"If people really want salads from McDonald's we will gladly relaunch salads, but what our experience has proven is that's not what the consumer is looking for from McDonald's," Erlinger said during the Wall Street Journal's Global Food Forum last month.

"They're looking for great french fries, they're looking for a $5 meal deal, they're looking for a hot fresh sandwich. That's what we're going to continue to provide them," he added.

McDonald’s is also nixing its plant-based burger. In 2021, the meat-less patties debuted at select locations, but apparently customers didn't love them enough.

According to MarketWatch, restaurants in the Bay Area and Dallas-Fort Worth were selling 20 McPlants daily, fewer than the 40 to 60 they had expected.

KTLA's Iman Palm contributed to this report.

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