Obviously spurred by the “successful” implementation of all-day breakfast, McDonald’s executives have warned that more changes will be afoot. One of these, it seems, is trying to sell Monster energy drinks as part of value meals. “We’re always gathering feedback from customers on the food and beverages they’d like to be served at McDonald’s, and this is another example,” a rep assures Bloomberg of the move, which is still in a limited trial phase at 20 locations throughout Michigan, Ohio, Georgia, Florida, and Illinois. The logistics actually aren’t difficult — Monster is now distributed by Coke, and Coke products colonize every McDonald’s soda fountain — but what’s difficult is understanding the more basic why.
The chain says people are “coming in just to purchase Monster,” and the deal could be worth billions for Monster. But even before Four Loko demonstrated the colossal idiocy of adding loads of caffeine to a malt beverage, health researchers weren’t saying good things about energy drinks. The FDA is now reviewing “hundreds” of so-called “adverse event” reports involving energy drinks, and recent studies have connected them to hypertension and higher chances of traumatic brain injury in athletes. Plus, the American Medical Association says it should be illegal to market the beverages to anyone under 18.
Health concerns don’t seem to be too serious: A spokesperson for McDonald’s did tell The Wall Street Journal that besides the value-meal option, the company is also testing out a twofer deal — two 16-ounce cans of Monster for $4.