Carter Newson/staff reporter
February 9, 2021 marked the return of McDonald’s St. Patrick’s Day drink, the Shamrock Shake.
The Shamrock Shake, invented by Hal Rosen, a McDonald’s owner, was first introduced in 1970 with lemon lime flavouring, then in 1973 changed to just dying vanilla ice cream green. 1983 was the first year to give the shamrock shake its mint taste that it’s famous for today.
The Shamrock Shakes leave and return every year in March because the drinks are seasonal, only around to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. They keep selling while supplies last, meaning they will keep selling but not restock.
The shake was only sold in every state since 2012, to this day it is only sold in Canada, the United States and Ireland.
The modern ingredients of the shake today according to Mcdonald’s website are Milk, Sugar, Cream, Corn Syrup, Natural Flavor, Mono and Diglycerides, Cellulose Gum, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Vitamin A Palmitate, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Water, Glycerin, Contains 2% Or Less: Natural Flavor, Xantham Gum, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Yellow 5, Blue 1.
Less than 2% natural flavours.
Seasonal products exist for many reasons, the first being to satisfy demand that wouldn’t otherwise be there. The shamrock shake fills the need for a St. Patty’s day drink and only for that holiday, the rest of the year it would just be a standard mint drink.
The most popular example of a seasonal drink would be Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice latte which fills people’s desire for a drink to celebrate autumn. For a McDonald’s example the McRib is also limited time.
Another thing that seasonal drinks may or may not inadvertently cause is FOMO (Fear of missing out.) It is human nature to want to not be left out of something popular. If Shamrock shakes are only here for a limited time, then people think that they should get the drink now just in case you regret not using the opportunity now later.
FOMO is way of getting customers through the door of the establishment, a strategy which McDonald’s is no stranger to. In the summer of 2020, McDonald’s introduced a campaign where every soft drink and coffee, small, medium, and large for 1$. McDonald’s would be losing money on every large cup they sold but the idea was to get people in the restaurant and get them to buy something else while they’re there.
The Shamrock Shake has been around for 50 years now and is an embodiment of seasonal drinks and McDonald’s marketing strategies.