(but hold on to the sauce — it might be worth a mint)
AWARD-winning boyband BTS — we’re talking the American Music Awards, the South Korean Order of Cultural Merit, and the Guiness World Records, among other recognitions — apparently have a hankering for 10 pieces of Chicken McNuggets, medium fries, and a medium Coke. Since last week, Filipino fans have been able to enjoy the same thing the boys (namely Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook) like to order.
The BTS Meal, available from June 18 until supplies last, is pinned on the McDonald’s Famous Orders program. Previous collaborations were with rapper (and Kylie Jenner’s ex) Travis Scott and singer J Balvin. The Famous Orders program was launched last year, with a Superbowl commercial featuring the favorite orders of several celebrities (from the commercial, we found out Kim Kardashian likes six-piece chicken McNuggets, a cheeseburger, a vanilla shake, an apple pie, small fries, and honey dipping sauce).
“No matter who you are, everyone has a favorite McDonald’s order — even some of the biggest celebrities,” said Assistant Vice-President of Marketing and Channels for McDonald’s Philippines Oliver Rabatan during an online press conference the day before the release. “BTS are longtime brand fans, who, no matter where they travel… enjoy McDonald’s.”
The BTS meal was launched in the US last year, and has gone on to be present in over 50 markets. The nuggets-and-fries combo come with a limited-edition spicy cajun sauce and sweet chili sauces, which, according to the brand, are based on “popular recipes” from McDonald’s South Korea.
The BTS meal arrived to the Philippines amid much fanfare: the week before the release, McDonald’s got their restaurant crew together for a BTS TikTok challenge. Earlier this week, McDonald’s BTS-themed photobooths were placed in some stores. On a more philanthropic note, McDonald’s gave a first taste of the much-awaited offering to healthcare workers prior to the June 18 launch. Through McDonald’s Kindness Kitchen, over 2,000 BTS Meals were distributed to select hospitals and vaccination hubs.
BusinessWorld snagged the meal last week and got the familiar snack of nuggets and fries (P270). It all comes down to the sauces, ranking the creamy Cajun sauce, with its spicy-creamy notes, our own favorite (the sweet chili sauce tasted — well, like sweet chili sauce, and nothing much else). We’d petition McDonald’s to keep the Cajun sauce a store staple if we could.
Of course, aside from having what the boys are ordering, the fans are crazy about the BTS-themed packaging. Using the band’s signature color — a light purple — the global giant fast-food brand splashed the McDonald’s nugget box, the paper cup, and the paper bag with the BTS logo and colors. Some fans have already taken to social media to show off what they’ve done with their merch: cellphone cases, journals, and toys. “Now we’re excited to give BTS fans a new way to connect with their favorite band through the McDonald’s food they love,” said Mr. Rabatan.
PS: Hold on to your sauces. In 2018, a sachet of McDonald’s Szechuan Sauce from 1998 (following a push from cartoon Rick & Morty) sold for about $14,700.* The seller had found it in an old car he had bought. Due to the publicity from the cartoon’s mention (and the sauce’s sale), McDonald’s briefly brought the sauce back. Current prices on eBay for the sauces range from $5 to $300. Who knows? In the future, one might be sitting on a gold mine — thanks to the boys.
For now, the boys of BTS are saving fans a bit of money. If one orders the BTS Meal through the McDelivery App from June 25 to 27, only ₱7 will be charged as the delivery fee (terms and conditions apply). — Joseph L. Garcia