McDonald’s auctions limited edition bottle of Big Mac Special Sauce
The list of ingredients which constitute the special sauce unique to McDonald’s Big Macs is not the closely-guarded secret it once was, having been quietly revealed in a 2012 YouTube video by the company’s executive chef Dan Coudreaut. But although the mixture of mayonnaise, ketchup and a few other ingredients may not contain anything surprising, there must still be something special about it. McDonald’s Australia is auctioning off a branded bottle of Big Mac Special Sauce on eBay and is demanding an impressive amount of money.
According to a Time article from February 2, 2015, McDonald’s Australia is auctioning one squeeze bottle of an ultra-limited 200 squeeze-bottle run of Big Mac Special Sauce. At the time, the bidding had already hit $18,000 U.S. dollars ($23,000 A.U. dollars). According to a tweet sent out by McDonald’s, the money earned from the auction will go to Ronald McDonald House Charities Australia.
The auctioning of the ultra-limited condiment could represent McDonald’s take on the trend of releasing online-only, limited-edition runs of niche — or in this case, kitsch — products to see if they will play with a broader audience. For example, in late 2014, Coca-Cola brought back Surge soda, a product discontinued in the ’90s, as a product available only on Amazon. Pepsi then jumped on the bandwagon, selling its stevia-sweetened Pepsi True only on Amazon. According to Consumerist, Pepsi True will soon be appearing on store shelves in three test markets.
McDonald’s approach would square with its emerging tendency to use Australia as a testing ground for innovations. In October 2014, McDonald’s Australia began to roll out "Build-a-Burger" touch screen ordering which allows customers to get customized, high-end burgers more akin to what they would find at gastropubs than at McDonald’s. The company has continued to explore the format, with two more new Australian locations outfitted with the tech-savvy ordering and fancy menu opening in the past few months, according to Lifehacker from Australia.
Whether McDonald’s intends to roll out the Big Mac Special Sauce as a regular product or not, some enterprising eBay users have begun to take advantage of the massive internet buzz over the sauce and its scarcity. Branded, individual dipping tubs of the special sauce, available in Australian McDonald’s locations for 50 cents each, have been appearing on eBay for $7.95 A.U. each.
On February 3, an eBay listing appeared for the domain BigMacSpecialSauce.com with a Buy-It-Now price of $20,000. The Buy-It-Now price has since been removed.
- "What is in the sauce that is in the Big Mac?" – YouTube
- McDonald’s Secret Big Mac Sauce Auction Attracts $18,000 Bid – Time
- Foodie Alert: McDonald’s Gourmet ‘Build-A-Burger’ Stores Are Spreading! – Lifehacker AU
- Are customized burgers and mobile apps the future of McDonald’s? – RetailWire
- Amazon and Coca-Cola partner on niche nostalgia e-commerce – RetailWire
- New Pepsi Goes To Amazon – The Wall Street Journal (sub. required)
- Pepsi’s Stevia-Sweetened Soda Will Hit Real-Life Stores In 3 Cities – Consumerist
- Special sauce for everyone! eBay flooded with 50-cent sachets of Big Mac sauce after McDonalds auctions off its ONLY bottle – The Daily Mail
- Big-Mac-Special-Sauce-OWN-THE-DOMAIN-HUGE-opportunity-BigMacSpecialSauce-com – Ebay
How will the auction of special sauce help McDonald’s restaurants in Australia? Do you see the company eventually doing the same thing in the U.S.? Do you see McDonald’s eventually packaging its special sauce for sale in grocery stores similarly to what it is doing with its McCafe coffee?