Unsold: Ten Million Pounds of McDonald’s Mighty Wings By Julie Jargon WSJ Some McDonald’s franchisees are in a flap over a chicken wings promotion that flopped. McDonald’s, which has been struggling to attract customers amid a sluggish economy and has suffered from some operational missteps, purchased approximately 50 million pounds of chicken wings for a limited-time promotion in the fall, according to a person familiar with the matter. Approximately 20% of that inventory remains, because the chain was unable to sell enough, this person says. Now the company is planning to offer another promotion in order to sell the wings, which are in frozen storage. The chicken wings, which had been criticized for being too expensive and spicy, are going to return at a discount to the previous offer of three for $2.99, the person said. When Janney Capital Markets analyst Mark Kalinowski surveyed McDonald’s franchisees in October, many of them commented on how poorly the wings were selling because they were priced well above competitors’ offerings. “Mighty Wings are proving once again that we can’t sell premium items in large numbers because we still have the Dollar Menu,” one franchisee said in the anonymous survey. When McDonald’s reported third quarter earnings in late October, Chief Executive Don Thompson said that the Mighty Wings promotion sold within the lower range of company expectations and admitted that the price “was not considered the most competitive.” Franchisees have been told they must participate in another upcoming promotion – the date and pricing of which are not yet clear – or else pay for the excess inventory. McDonald’s spokespeople could not immediately be reached for comment.