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McDonald's just claimed a crucial victory over burger rivals like Wendy's for the first time in years

Business Insider logo Business Insider 6/24/2019 Kate Taylor
a sandwich sitting on top of a hot dog on a bun © Kate Taylor

McDonald's is claiming a victory over fast-food rivals one year after revamping its quarter pounder.

On Monday, the fast-food giant announced that one year after switching to fresh beef in its quarter-pound burgers, it had edged out the competetion to grow burger share in the "informal eating out" category, which includes fast-food chains, casual-dining chains, and more. This is the first time in five years that McDonald's gained share in the category.

Read more: McDonald's just made a massive change to its burgers - here's the verdict

According to the company, quarter-pounder sales increased by more than 50% during the first month of the national rollout. And, in the first quarter of 2019, McDonald's sold 40 million more quarter-pound burgers than in the first quarter of 2018.

"Our numbers speak for themselves, with the introduction of fresh beef and the promotions including fresh beef quarter-pound burgers helping result in a sustained quarter-pound burger sales increase of 30% on average throughout the entire first year," Chris Kempczinski, the president of McDonald's USA, said in a statement.

Some experts predicted that McDonald's fresh beef rollout could cause issues for rivals such as Wendy's, which is known for using fresh, never-frozen beef in all of its burgers. Wendy's attempted to use the launch to its advantage, sparring with McDonald's on Twitter and running ads that emphasized that the rival chain is only using fresh beef in certain burgers.

There isn't any evidence that McDonald's fresh beef rollout had any significant impact on Wendy's sales over the last year. However, the fast-food chain seems to be winning over burger lovers from somewhere. And, as the largest chain in America, any change at McDonald's can have a monumental impact on the rest of the industry.

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