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Why Did McDonald’s Redesign Their McFlurry Cups?

A trip to McDonald’s usually ends with one of their best-selling desserts. None of these are more famous than the beloved McFlurry. But did you know that the tasty dessert, or rather its packaging, was a grave threat to a certain animal?

In 2006, McDonald’s redesigned their McFlurry cups. The British Hedgehog Preservation Society found that McFlurry lids were too wide that it could trap a hedgehog and keep it captive until it dies when it decides to eat the leftovers from the cup.

The McFlurry Origin

The McFlurry was introduced to the market in 1997. A McFlurry consists of a whipped soft serve vanilla ice cream and a sweet topping. It was invented two years prior. In 1995, a Canadian franchisee, Ron McLellan, invented the McFlurry in his location in Bathurst, New Brunswick. (Source: Mashed)

McLellan, at the time, had an idea to throw in sweet treats in soft-serve ice cream and flurried it. The global fast-food chain took notice and included it in its menu worldwide. The name McFlurry comes from the process of how it is made. The process is to attach the spoon to the McFlurry® mixer, which is used to ‘flurry’ the ice cream and inclusions and sauce if applicable, together before being given to the customer. (Source: Movie Cultists)

A Danger to Hedgehogs

In 2001, a British postman found a hedgehog stuck in a discarded McFlurry container. Speculations arose that hedgehogs were attracted by the sweet smell of leftover ice cream from discarded containers. The animal would then crawl into the lid’s opening to consume the leftover.

But due to their spines, hedgehogs cannot back out from the container’s opening. It was reported that hedgehogs died due to starvation, dehydration, or wandering off to dangerous situations like traffic or waterways while still stuck in the McFlurry container.

This caught the attention of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society. Its 12,000 and more members rallied and appealed to the Golden Arches company, requesting a more hedgehog-friendly design of their McFlurry cups. After five years, the global giant announced that they would be spending a significant amount of money to research, develop and roll out new lids that would be hedgehog friendly.

In 2008, McDonald’s Germany followed suit after receiving information on the countless deaths of hedgehogs in their country. The fast-food adjusted the opening of its McFlurry cups, ensuring that the opening was too small for a hedgehog to even get in the first place. (Source: Mashed)

McFlurrys Around the World

With the change, millions of people still enjoy their favorite golden arches dessert. To date, 99 countries serve McFlurrys. Each country has taken the initiative to create a popular dessert to cater to its local market.

  • Japan offers a Matcha McFlurry
  • Argentina boasts of a Vaquita version, a McFlurry infused with dulce de leche and chocolate
  • South Africa has a lime and chocolate version
  • Indonesia offers a choice between coconut charcoal or strawberry cheesecake
  • Thailand McDonald’s has a tiramisu version
  • The Philippines offers a green tea KitKat variant
  • Australia has the Apple Pie McFlurry

    (Source: Mashed)

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