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McDonald's Is Rolling Out a New Afternoon Snack Program

Justina Huddleston is an editor and the head writer for TDmonthly Magazine. She has been a freelance writer for several years, though her real passion is cooking. You can see the recipes she creates on her vegan food blog, A Life of Litt...

McDonald's is adding pastries & ice cream to its afternoon snack menu

Someday, we'll tell our kids the horror stories about having to make it to McDonald's before 10:30 a.m. if we wanted to get our hands on some hash browns and a bacon, egg and cheese McMuffin. And maybe, if things go according to plan, they'll also hear about a time when there were no afternoon snacks sold at the golden arches.

Who doesn't get that 3 p.m. slump where suddenly all you want is a nap and some comfort food? Looks like McDonald's wants to capitalize on that feeling and will be luring in the hungriest among us with muffin tops, croissants and a sundae topping bar, all during that sweet spot for snack time, 2 to 5 p.m.

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Currently being tested as part of its Experience of the Future overhaul, select McDonald's locations are getting pastry cases, while around 700 will have a topping station featuring items that can be put on ice cream sundaes and on other dessert items and drinks.

Of course, McDonald's will keep selling its regular menu items in the afternoon too. But if I ate a cheeseburger after lunch, I guarantee I'd have to crawl under my desk for a snooze. Something a little smaller — like a pastry or a small ice cream — is the sort of pick-me-up I crave at that hour.

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This strategy been successful in other countries. In Canada and Europe, the McCafé brand has really taken off, with a focus not just on coffee beverages, but snackable baked goods too.

I'm already totally pathetic when it comes to resisting the siren call of McDonald's hash browns; if they get muffin tops, I'll be literally helpless before them. Only time will tell if snack time is the solution to getting more customers into McDonald's during the afternoon lull. But if ice cream sundaes appeal to you like they do to me, then I have a feeling they've got something good on their hands.

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