Fast food giant McDonald’s announced plans to open a spinoff chain called CosMc’s, which will sell coffee, snacks, and beverages. The first brick and mortar location will be tested in Illinois and evaluated for its success before the company moves forward with expansion. The menu includes a variety of lemonade and coffee flavors, as well as breakfast and lunch sandwiches. The store will also sell “McPops,” which are similar to donut holes filled with cookie butter, hazelnut or other flavors. This delicacy was first born out of McDonald’s franchise in Barcelona, Spain.
The expansion comes just months after company wide layoffs, despite the core business model reporting 30% growth since 2019.The name of CosMc’s is born from a 1980s McDonald’s character of the same name, leading to widespread belief that the chain was inspired by a soon-to-be relaunch of the character. CosMc was a six-handed alien creature who grabbed burgers to bring back into space for a “trade mission.”
The sudden announcement of the chain has led foodies far and wide to theorize that perhaps the summer’s Grimace shake phenomenon inspired corporate to expand in this manner. A TikTok creator named Austin Frazier was the first to create the memeable trend, which rapidly expanded across the digital media platform. The trend featured TikTok users trying another McDonald’s character, Grimace’s, birthday milkshake available at the fast food chain. Upon trying the shake, the creators would act out comically dramatic horror-movie esque deaths.
In an interview with Business Insider in July, Frazier revealed that he had no intention of creating the viral moment, and that it was “quite literally just a meme.” The meme wound up including a number of celebrities and major influencers, creating the most successful accidental marketing campaign for the chain in years.
The shocking Grimace shake trend on TikTok led many to dig up the lore on Grimace’s character within the franchise. The shake was meant to celebrate the character’s birthday, and the absurd trend had some feeling apologetic towards the purple creature, who is meant to represent a taste bud.
Some felt apologetic to Grimace for insinuating that his favorite treat was poisonous on his birthday.
Now, months after the infamous Grimacegate era, new followers of fast food lore are decoding what CosMc’s relation to Grimace might be.
CosMc’s first location is in Bollingbrook, Illinois, close to Chicago. Early customers report that there are four drive through lanes, and that the format more closely mimics Sonic and other parking-based fast food chains. Some anticipate that it will rival Starbucks.
McDonald’s is launching a new concept and I was just there and grabbed pics of a whole new menu of items never been offered before
The concept is being launched in Bollingrbook, IL and it’s called CosMc’s
It’s not open yet and there was a full team of actors in the drive thru… pic.twitter.com/Z64g4ykZXT
— Iman Jalali (@Stealx) November 29, 2023
It remains unclear when McDonald’s intends to expand CosMc’s further at this time.