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McDonald's Turns to New $1 Items to Drive Traffic

NEW YORK -- McDonald's is launching two new Dollar Menu items, the Snack Size Fish McBites and the Grilled Onion Cheddar Burger, as part of an attempt to turn around slumping sales, reported the Nation's Restaurant News. The products will debut in late 2012, according to an e-mail from Fred Huebner, chair of McDonald's Operators National Advertising Fund (OPNAD).

One dollar is apparently as low as franchisees are willing to go on price points, as local advertising co-ops did not approve OPNAD's plan to offer a 69-cent hamburger and an 89-cent cheeseburger, reported the news outlet.

"All the co-ops have finished voting on advertising the two business energizers that OPNAD approved for a co-op vote to accelerate our business momentum in the fourth quarter and the start of 2013," Huebner wrote in the e-mail to McDonald's owner-operators, corporate staff and key national and local advertising agencies. "I know this was a very fast turnaround, and I appreciate the extraordinary efforts that you all made to enable your co-ops to meet quickly and vote on these programs."

"Our goal was to build on a plan that we have a great deal of confidence in," Huebner added. "We have a strong system plan, so let's all stay focused on finishing the year strong, maximizing the power of OPNAD and staying aligned."

The new items are part of McDonald's plan to aggressively advertise low prices in order to reinvigorate sales after a third quarter in which the fast food giant struggled, as CSNews Online previously reported.

Another change for McDonald's is the addition of Jeff Stratton as president of McDonald's USA. He replaces former president Jan Fields as of Dec. 1.

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