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McDonald’s Adds Two New Sauces to its Lineup

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McDonald’s is introducing two new sauces – the Sweet & Spicy Jam Sauce and the Mambo Sauce – beginning Oct. 9.

McDonald’s Sweet & Spicy Jam Sauce is a red pepper sauce with a Szechuan peppercorn kick and extra heat from cayenne pepper; finished with apple cider vinegar. McDonald’s chefs recommend the jam sauce for the Sausage McMuffin with egg, bacon, egg & cheese biscuit, hash browns, Chicken McNuggets, the McCrispy, and French fries. According to the company, this will mark the first-ever breakfast-inspired dipping sauce in the chain’s domestic system.

McDonald’s Mambo Sauce is a tomato-based, sweet, spicy and vinegary sauce inspired by the regional Washington, D.C. area sauce staple. Chefs recommend it for the Quarter Pounder with Cheese, hash browns, Chicken McNuggets, McCrispy, and French fries.

“We get inspiration for the food our fans love by exploring the incredible tastes and flavors found in communities across the country,” Tariq Hassan, chief marketing and customer experience officer, said in a statement. “Sweet & Spicy Jam and Mambo Sauce live at the intersection of flavor and culture – pulling from decades of rich food history and tradition in local restaurants and home kitchens, and bringing the delicious spice, sweetness and kick of heat we know today’s customers are craving.”

To celebrate the sauces’ launch, McDonald’s is teaming up with foodie content creators @Mr.Eats305, @sharidyonne, @santanakeish, @misslegarda, @natelovlogs and @blackgirlsexploredc, who will offer reviews and share their own pairing recommendations on their respective TikTok accounts. Further, McDonald’s YouTube channel will debut a documentary on Oct. 9 about the cultural ties Mambo sauce has to the Washington D.C. and Chicago communities. The documentary will feature stories of the sauce makers, restaurateurs, small business owners and fans keeping the culture alive.

McDonald’s introduction of two new sauces comes shortly after the chain began offering its signature Big Mac sauce a la carte for the first time, signaling a sharpened focus on this part of the menu, which has historically served as more of an accessory. It’s not the only chain doing so. Chick-fil-A recently began selling its barbecue and sweet & spicy sriracha sauces in retail locations nationwide. The chicken chain even went so far as to rollout an entire sauce-themed merch line. Taco Bell has also recently leveraged the popularity of its sauces through partnerships with local favorites like Yellowbird and Truff’s. The company also flexes its sauces’ brand equity with a sauce packet collection on its merch line. In 2020, KFC jumped into the fray, introducing its first “KFC Sauce” after testing 50 iterations. The chain has since added a buffalo ranch sauce to its lineup that already included BBQ, ranch and honey mustard. Earlier this year, Shake Shack launched a new Hot Ones Menu, complete with Hot Ones Spicy ShackSauce, while Culver’s came up with a new “signature sauce.”

In the past few years, sauces have become a bigger battleground for restaurants, and for good reason. Consumers’ penchant for sauces has grown as our food has become more globalized and our palates more sophisticated. According to Innova’s 2022 Flavor Survey, 39% of consumers said they’re most likely to experiment with flavors through sauces, seasonings and toppings. As such, new product introductions including sauces and seasonings increased by 10% in 2022. There aren’t many signs of slowing down here; the global culinary sauces market is projected to grow to nearly $60 billion by 2029, from $46.6 billion in 2022, according to Fortune Business Insights.