I'm always fascinated by the evolution of major companies and the different ways they try to reshape or rebrand themselves. It is interesting watching successful companies try to branch out by offering different products outside of what made them successful, as well as the different forms of marketing they try to use to capture a consumer's imagination over their new offerings. One of the reasons McDonald's has been a global powerhouse in the fast food industry (and essentially, the company that invented the industry), is that they are always trying out new food items and attempting ways to break into different markets.

A lot of risks have paid off as they've become the champion of breakfast with their coffee and Egg McMuffin sandwiches (I'm positive when this was introduced that there were many analysts betting against them), made an iconic burger like the Big Mac, won over children with the Happy Meal, and offered more than burgers with a huge hit like Chicken McNuggets.

All those major victories have brought along a fair amount of big financial losers as well. The part that I find really fascinating as shown in the Watch Mojo video below is that many of the flops were not all caused by the food tasting awful but actually were decent (for fast food) dishes that misfired for other reasons. It was over stuff like creating a menu item that was much better and more established elsewhere (Mighty Wings could never replace Buffalo Wings) or food that contradicted the reason people went to McDonald's (pizza isn't a great item for a place that promises food ready in minutes). I love digging into the history of a company that took various gambles and I am also amused by some of the obvious wacky "how did they think this would sell?" attempts.

Just like my look back at 1980s toys, I will post the video here, and then provide a few of my own thoughts.

10. McGratin Croquette: 'Nobody orders our McFish, so that means we need to lean heavier into seafood but with more Kraft Dinner and mashed potatoes!' Apparently, this was targeted just at the Japanese market, and if something is even too strange for Japan, then it really isn't going to fly (swim?) anywhere.

9. Mighty Wings: Why wasn't this called McWings? That is really why it failed, isn't it? I feel like this either never came to Canada or it never made it to McDonald's near me, because if I'm going to order the overly breaded wings at the Zehrs hot food counter more than once, then there is no way I wasn't trying these. Wings are my kryptonite, even if deep down I know it is likely to be barely a step up from wings I've resorted to getting in the frozen aisle of already mentioned Zehrs (I've relied on that place for too many subpar wings). I get the strategy behind trying to jump on the popular 'big game' food, but wings feel like a food that people already have their go-to-place. At least, they never tried McNachos.

8. Chopped Beefsteak Sandwich: I have no memory of this one, but in the early 1980s if a McDonald's ad wasn't set in McDonaldland, then I wasn't paying attention. This is one of those times McDonald's tried to promote as a premiums sandwich (like the Arch Deluxe), but those always seemed to flop on account the regular customer was looking to spend less. A $1.19 for a sandwich? Does McDonald's think money grows on trees? That we would find the change between the seats of our Ferrari? Of course, this was a time that the hamburger was going for $.40, so it was a steep increase.

7.McHot Dog: If this stuck around, then Danika would have been its best customer. Kind of crazy that a kid favourite seems to have always been a flop for most fast food chains.

6. McLean Deluxe: Kevin Green from the ad shown is not only an NFL Hall of Famer, but also wrestled at least three WCW matches. As for the burger, this furthers the belief that health conscious means tasteless. My wife has proven that wrong, but fast food chains are better at proving that right.

5. McSpaghetti: 'Hey, lets create a meal that every family make for dinner once a week, but much crappier!' Nailed it.

4. Hula Burger: It took me thirty years to get comfortable with pineapple on pizza, so you'd need to give me triple that time for me to not riot over replacing a beef patty with a slab of pineapple. Part of me feels this was a conspiracy to make the McFish seem more appealing.

3. McAfrika/McAfrica: While the whole marketing campaign and timing was a disaster, my bigger question is why something called the McAfrica was sold exclusively in Norway? I get for the Olympics, but why was that name and burger felt to be the golden ticket?

2. McDLT: One of the most legendary flops in McDonald's marketing history. Even as a highly impressionable to hype and market to kid, the McDLT sounded like a really stupid and more work than it was worth idea. Were there people complaining over their tomato touching their patty before it being served? Considering most can't keep a burger together while eating it, what were the chances there wasn't going to be a mess in every other car when trying to assemble this thing? Though apparently, its undoing was the Styrofoam container as an environmental issue, because I guess the idea just needed the Styrofoam to work.

1. McPizza:  I had a friend that swore by the McPizza and said it was better than any other pizza. I remember trying it and deciding it wasn't worth the wait. I also remember a marketing campaign where McDonald's was going to start delivering their pizza but not sure if that ever made it here to Brantford (my dad stuck to the dinosaurs like Domino's or Pizza Pizza). Though this one is fondly remembered and led to a big Twitter fail recently. McDonald's Twitter account teased that a beloved product was coming back, and almost everyone tweeted back the 'McPizza!' and what they got instead was spicy McNuggets, which apparently was the beloved item nobody wanted back.

What is your favourite discontinued item at McDonald's?