First fries, now nuggets: McDonald's tests shaking things up

As the nugget war between McDonald's and Burger King continues to rage, the Golden Arches is testing a new addition to its arsenal: flavored McNuggets.

In Northern Nevada locations, McDonald's began testing seasoning flavors that customers can shake on nuggets, including zesty ranch, chipotle BBQ and garlic parmesan, this week.

"The new Shakin' Flavor offering will also be available in the San Francisco, Sacramento, Chico, and Fresno markets," wrote McDonald's spokeswoman Terri Hickey in an email.

From left: McDonald's Chicken McNuggets and Burger King Chicken Nuggets
Source: McDonalds; Burger King
From left: McDonald's Chicken McNuggets and Burger King Chicken Nuggets

The company's already tried out flavor packets, popular in Asia, with its fries.

McDonald's just recently pared down its menu to cut down on complexity and confusion. It's one prong of a multi-faceted approach to juice sales at the company, whose domestic unit has struggled.

In the nugget category, McDonald's has faced heightened competition from rival Burger King, which is currently promoting 10 pieces for $1.49 as a limited-time offering.

On Burger King's last quarterly conference call, its parent company Restaurant Brands International's CEO Daniel Schwartz described it as a "favorable offer." During its last quarter, the brand saw comparable restaurant sales rise 3 percent.

Bowing to customer requests to bring them back, McDonald's is also plotting the return of the Chicken Selects, a premium chicken product it discontinued in early 2013.

"The Chicken Selects will make a national return in early March and be sold as an order with 3 pieces," wrote spokeswoman Lisa McComb in an email. "We look forward to bringing back this customer favorite made with chicken tenderloin."

The recommended price will be $2.99 though it will likely vary across the U.S. because franchisees can set their own prices.