McDonald's redesigns drinking straw for Shamrock Shake

The mint-flavoured milkshake has been released to celebrate St Patrick's Day since 1970

McDonald's redesigns drinking straw for Shamrock Shake

[McDonald's]

Fast food chain McDonald’s is known the world over for the uniformity of its Big Mac, Happy Meals, and quick turnarounds at the counter. And now it hopes to ape Apple by reinventing its classic drinking straw in time for St Patrick’s Day.

The fast food giant first started distributing the Shamrock Shake, a green-coloured and mint-flavoured variant of its milkshakes, in the 1970s. The seasonal dessert is sold at all American and Irish McDonald’s outlets, as well as a number of Canadian restaurants.

But this year, McDonald’s will also send a blended Chocolate Shamrock Shake, and has teamed up with an aerospace and robotic engineering firm to redesign a straw best suited to combining the flavours.

As regular straws suck from the bottom of the cup, the new milkshake, which sees the two layered one on top of the other, required new thinking. The new STRAW, which stands for ‘Suction Tube for Reversal Axial Withdrawal’, was developed by JACE and NK Labs and is configured to provide consumers with a perfect 50-50 ratio of the chocolate and peppermint flavours.

“It was a puzzling assignment, but one with an ambitious goal,” Seth Newburg, principal engineer and managing partner at NK Labs, said.

Described by McDonald’s as “probably more revolutionary than actually needed,” the STRAW gets the full-blown Apple product launch treatment, with an overly loquacious designer clearly mocking the tech giant’s Jony Ive advert from 2012.

Sadly for Irish consumers, despite the pillaging of their heritage for the sale of blended ice-cream drinks, McDonald’s has only produced 2,000 of the bespoke sipping devices, which will be made available in 12 US states from this Thursday. None will be handed out in Irish stores.

McDonald's is not the only company going high tech this St Patrick's Day, with Irish whiskey brand Jameson having created a limited-edition, NFC-enabled bottle in honour of the Irish national holiday.

For more food news on Newstalk.com, please click here.