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McDonald's Has A Sweet New Treat For The Summer

(CNN) -- McDonald's is adding a new McFlurry to its lineup, hoping an enticing summer treat can keep customers loyal as prices keep creeping higher.

Beginning May 25 for a limited time, McDonald's will start selling a Chocolatey Pretzel McFlurry that mixes vanilla soft serve ice cream with chocolate-covered pretzel bits, topped with a caramel swirl. It's a "perfect combination of salty and sweet," the company said in a statement.

Prices of the new McFlurry will vary depending on city and will be available in two sizes (regular and snack size). It's the second sweet item added to its menu in recent weeks. McDonald's started selling the glazed pull-apart donut in early May.

Fast-food chains are constantly competing for customers' dollars and attention, and specialty offerings are a way to attract new customers and maintain existing ones. McDonald's regularly adds different McFlurry flavors to its menus, including Reese's, M&M's and Oreo.

McDonald's raised prices by 6% last year as inflation surged. In the first quarter, the company's prices were 8% higher than they were a year earlier. Food prices in particular have been skyrocketing, and corporations -- even ones as mighty as McDonald's -- can do only so much to insulate themselves.

The company last month said customers are increasingly concerned about inflation, and McDonald's is closely watching sales trends to ensure it's providing "the right value."

McDonald's reported strong sales in the first quarter. Globally, sales at restaurants open at least 13 months jumped 11.8% in the quarter, driven by strong international business. In the United States, sales popped 3.5%, thanks in part to higher prices.

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