McDonald’s chief executive said the fast-food giant plans to create a spinoff chain of smaller restaurants called CosMc’s in 2024.
CosMc is a yellow-colored part alien, part robot who appeared in the second phase of McDonaldland — the franchise’s fictional world inhabited by Ronald McDonald and his friends.
The lesser-known character, which began appearing in McDonald’s ads in 1987, has six arms and relocated from his home in space when he discovered McDonald’s burgers and fries. (McDonaldland and its cast debuted in 1971).
“CosMc’s is a small-format concept with all the DNA of McDonald’s, but its own unique personality,” golden arches CEO Chris Kempczinski said during a second-quarter earnings call on Thursday.
So far, it’s unclear how CosMc will play into the new brand, which Kempczinski added will be tested in a handful of sites in “a limited geography” come early next year.
Kempczinski teased that more information and development plans for the spin-off concept will be announced on the company’s investor day, set to take place in December.
CosMc’s story was laid out in an ’80s McDonald’s ad that also features Grimace, Ronald McDonald and McDonaldland’s Professor.
The commercial shows a UFO-like object landing in McDonaldland, then sprouting a head and six arms and saying: “Hi-ho Earth people, CosMc here. I popped in from outer space on a trade mission.”
In an advert that aired the following year, pals Ronald and CosMc are traveling through space together, and cross the Milky Way to order a Happy Meal at the “fly-through.”
The soon-to-be star of a McDonald’s spinoff brand was later featured in ’90s Nintendo game M.C. Kids alongside fellow McDonaldland character the Hamburglar.
The revival of CosMc — who is known for pairing his futuristic outfit with clunky white sneakers — comes after McDonald’s saw great success by bringing back its purple fuzzy mascot Grimace.
Grimace, who was known in the ’70s as “Evil Grimace,” made a comeback in 2022 with a friendlier new look that shot the beloved fuzzball to fame.
McDonald’s recently celebrated the purple blob’s 52nd birthday with a limited-edition milkshake and Happy Meal.
Following the release of its strong second-quarter earnings report released Thursday, the brand called “Grimace’s Birthday” campaign “one of our most socially engaging campaigns of all time.”
As a result, McDonald’s — which has 13,513 restaurants in the US and over 38,000 abroad — recorded a revenue of $6.5 billion in the latest quarter, edging out Wall Street’s expectation of $6.27 billion.
The net sales marked a 14% increase from last year.
The Chicago-based brand scored $2.31 billion in income — a sharp increase from the $1.8 billion reported in Q1.
Kempczinski attributed the success to the mascot, who inspired a lot of nostalgia among McDonald’s customers.
“This quarter, if I’m being honest, the theme was Grimace,” he said on the company’s conference call following the earnings report.