Fast Food Trial Balloons that Never Took Off

McDonald's Hula Burger: Anybody loving it?

With all due respect to makers of mouse traps, what will have the world beating a path to your door is inventing the next fast food sensation. As evidence consider that McDonald’s reportedly sells 550 million Big Macs per year — a number dwarfed by Burger King’s alleged sale of 2.1 billion Whoppers a year.

Which is not to say that all fast food ideas pan out. Some merely fizzle. If you don’t believe us, stop by a Taco Bell and ask for a waffle taco. The breakfast item, consisting of a scrambled egg wrapped in a sausage patty encased in turn by a waffle had all the earmarks of a winner the chain test-marketed it. But it never caught on and was ultimately deep-sixed.

A similar fate was suffered by Pizza Hut’s “Kit Kat Pops,” wads of sweetened pizza stuffed with chunks of the candy and deep-fried.

Ditto for McDonald’s “Hula Burger,” a slice of pineapple grilled and served on a bun between two slices of processed cheese. Yum, right? When the idea for the sandwich was first hatched in 1963, the geniuses behind it thought it would be a great alternative for Catholics who abstained from eating meat on Fridays. They were wrong.

So were the brains behind McDonald’s Kolacky. McDonald’s what, you say? Kolacky, also spelled “kolache,” “kolach,” “koláče,” “koláč,” and “koláčky,” is a Bohemian donut-like affair stuffed with a dollop of sweetened fruit. Ray Kroc is said to have launched the product in honor of his mother, but no difference: no sale.