NEW YORK McDonald's (MCD) is getting rid of its Chicken Selects and Fruit & Walnut Salad and is considering the removal of Angus burgers.
The changeup comes as the world's biggest hamburger chain plans to step up the number of limited-time menu items in the year ahead. Most recently, the chain introduced its "Fish McBites" and plans to introduce "McWrap" chicken sandwiches in three flavors later this year.
The Oak Brook, Ill.-based company said in an emailed statement that it is "evaluating options as it relates to the Angus Third Pounders," which were introduced in 2009. The Selects chicken fingers were introduced in 2004 and the Fruit & Walnut Salad was introduced in 2005.
Earlier this week, the Kentucky New Era quoted a McDonald's franchisee's Facebook post noting the discontinuation of the three items.
"Sorry if one of these were your favorite, they just did not sell well enough nationally," the site quoted McEnaney Enterprises as saying. That post has since been removed.
After years of outperforming rivals, McDonald's has been struggling as competitors including Burger King and Wendy's step up their marketing and menu offerings. Fast-food chains are also fighting to attract customers at a time when people are being more careful about where they spend their money.
In a shakeup late last year, McDonald's ousted the head of its U.S. business. The move came after a key sales figure dropped for the first time in nearly a decade. CEO Don Thompson, who took the top spot this summer, has said the company has a strong pipeline of new items for 2013.
In the meantime, some McDonald's operators may welcome the company's plans to stop serving some items.
"The menu at McDonald's has gotten so broad and so jumbled that nothing sells in large numbers," said Richard Adams, a former McDonald's franchisee who now consults for franchisees. "This business was built on simplicity, and that's kind of gone out of the window in the last decade."