Step aside, liquid margarine; butter is here to take your place.

McDonald's signFast-food chain McDonald's has announced that it will begin using real butter on its Egg McMuffin and other breakfast sandwiches served on English muffins, biscuits and bagels. This decision follows others aimed at appealing to a customer desire for more natural foods. The restaurant has already committed to using chickens not treated with human antibiotics and milk from cows not given rBST.

Signs will appear in restaurants across the country announcing the change, both to promote the use of real dairy products and warn consumers who are lactose intolerant. All of McDonald's 14,300 domestic locations will make the switch to real butter once their supply of liquid margarine is depleted.

And to many patrons' delight, the chain also announced a decision to serve certain breakfast items all day long nationwide starting October 6. This long-standing customer request follows months of testing at various locations and will be the restaurant's biggest menu change in years.

Expanded breakfast availability could help McDonald's compete with other restaurants already offering breakfast items throughout the day. A full menu lineup will not be available, and restaurants may have to eliminate some lunch and dinner items to make room for the breakfast options, Bloomberg Business reported.

Still, additional breakfast offerings could bolster sales by as much as 2.5 percent a year, the company estimates. And with real butter served on many of these items, the dairy industry could see a ripple benefit, as well. Preliminary estimates suggest that McDonald's and its suppliers could use between 22.5 and 27 million pounds of butter in the first year alone.

To comment, email your remarks to intel@hoards.com.
Subscribe to Hoard's Dairyman Intel by clicking the button below