McDonald’s Debuts Its Own Version of Spotify Wrapped

In its 2022 FANual Report, McDonald's reveals the true MVP of the menu.

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Taking a note from Spotify Wrapped, the December playlist and data visualization of everything users listened to this year, McDonald’s is creating a personal roundup of customers’ 2022 fast food habits. In a press release titled “What Does Your McDonald’s Order Say About You?” the chain announced it will be using data gleaned from its mobile app to send MyMcDonald’s Rewards members a personalized year-in-review email, matching their McDonald’s ordering habits to a custom “Fan Persona.”

From Jan 1, 2022 to October 9, 2022, McDonalds gathered data from in-app transactions to compile its FANnual Report for 2022.

Who McDonald’s fans are, according to McDonald’s 

Based on the gathered data, McDonald’s categorized users as one of five personas: Newbie, Insider, Low Key, CEO, and Carpe All Day. McDonald’s rewards members who share their persona on Instagram have a chance to win 250,000 MyMcDonald’s Rewards points. That amounts to a lot of free Quarter Pounders with Cheese.

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The descriptions for each persona are not very detailed; the press release uses horoscope-type language like “ambition fuels your cravings” (CEO) or “you’re open to trying new, adventurous things” (Newbie). But in terms of which group you land in based on pure purchasing data, this is my understanding of each persona:

  • Newbie: You have the McDonald’s app on your phone, but you use it infrequently. This means you redeem freebies after being nudged to do so, but not often or consistently.
  • Insider: You order with a little more frequency, but more importantly, you order pretty much the same thing every time you open the app.
  • Low Key: This seems to be a combination of the first two personas; you might not use the app every week, but you’re diligent about racking up and redeeming rewards points on your go-to orders.
  • CEO: You redeem points a lot, and McDonald’s appreciates you all the more for it. You also tend to redeem points for generally popular menu items.
  • Carpe All Day: You deserve a sponsorship deal for how much and how often you use the McDonald’s app.
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After you’re done evaluating just how much of your money went to Ronald in 2022, it might comfort you to know that across the U.S. many others were just as dedicated to the Golden Arches (perhaps even more) as you. Enough to share the FANual Report on Instagram for a chance to win rewards points.

The most popular menu item at McDonald’s 

Recently, Pricelisto.com, a consumer pricing platform, determined the most popular McDonald’s menu items by looking up the McDonald’s menu items that are most searched for by consumers online. As noted in previous reporting, search volume doesn’t necessarily translate to popularity.

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Based on information straight from McDonald’s, it turns out Pricelisto.com was in fact a bit off-base. Pricelisto.com determined that the Big Mac, Egg McMuffin, and McChicken were McDonald’s most popular items. However, per McDonald’s FANnual Report for 2022, the brand’s French fries were the most ordered menu item in every single U.S. state, followed by the cheeseburger, and then (Pricelisto.com nailed this one, at least) the McChicken.

Technically the McDonald’s data only tallies up digital orders, not in-person transactions, so maybe there’s still something to be said for Pricelisto’s imperfect rankings. But either way, the Big Mac was significantly popular, too: McDonald’s notes that more than 5,000 McDonald’s rewards members ordered 100+ Big Macs in 2022. (One of them has to be Donald Gorske, right?)

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There are oher fun facts to be found in the FANual Report, including that Hawaii is the top state for mobile app orders. And it must take a tundra for McDonald’s to finally get its ice cream machine working, because despite living in the coldest state, dozens of Alaskans in Anchorage ordered McFlurrys on the coldest day of the year.

Despite the obvious marketing ploy of creating these fan personas and entertaining us with our own order data, the FANnual Report nevertheless demonstrates that McDonald’s continues to inspire loyalty among its fan base. That’s what the world’s largest PR budget will net you.