Collecting K-pop merchandise can be extremely competitive. So, when we found out that BTS was collaborating with McDonald’s for a special menu, we came prepared.
Dubbed the “BTS Meal,” the special menu puts a twist on McDonald’s classics. The meal consists of the following: 10 McNuggets, a medium Coke, medium fries, and two new dipping sauces. But the highlight is the cute purple packaging that’s designed to fit the boy group’s fresh and modern image.
Filipino ARMYs have been anticipating the exclusive launch of the BTS Meal on Friday, June 18. But is it really worth the hype? We at PhilSTAR L!fe tried it to find out.
I’m experienced with the competitiveness of K-pop merch collecting (and the size of BTS ARMY), so I knew I had to get the meal before the actual launch.
We’re having a surprise comeback! ? Reservation period for the exclusive release of The BTS Meal with custom BTS Meal packaging ? has been extended — open your McDonald’s App today and claim your slots from 8:00AM to 10:00AM only! Hurry and #ClaimIt ? pic.twitter.com/FoHWr1V57N— McDo Philippines (@McDo_PH) June 14, 2021
Luckily, McDonald’s opened three reservation periods on June 17 from 8 to 10 a.m. on their app. I was able to avail myself of two slots on the third day of reservation. Filipino ARMYs said on Twitter that the app crashed a lot of times during the reservation period, but the process went smoothly for me.
To my surprise, I didn’t experience any problems when I claimed the BTS Meal. The McDonald’s branch that’s nearest to my place in Cavite wasn’t crowded, the delivery drivers observed social distancing while lining up outside the store, and Filipino ARMYs were patiently waiting for their turn.
Before claiming my BTS Meal, I was asked to press “Redeem” on my reservation slot in the app and wait for 15 minutes. The wait didn’t feel long, plus I was in a spot that was two seats away from a very excited ARMY. As soon as I got my order, the guard asked me to leave the venue to make way for the next set of customers.
The packaging is the highlight of the BTS Meal for me. The signature McDonald’s packaging is adorned with the group’s official logo and their iconic “Borahae” catchphrase. The Coke and McNuggets containers were in a shade of pastel purple. Plus, each meal contains a special handwritten note with a reference to the group's songs and quotes.
It’s very aesthetically pleasing, although I wish the packaging contained the faces of BTS. For example, the brown paper bag can have Jimin’s face printed on it or any other member. This would have upped fans' adrenaline rush when pulling out a random photocard from a K-pop album and boost the anticipation of ARMYs.
I ordered two BTS Meals so the portion size can fit a family of four. My parents are currently on a strict diet, so my brother and I shared them. The meal was very filling, so it can replace your everyday typical rice-and-viand combo during lunch or dinner. It can also be enjoyed as a quick bite when you’re on the go.
One BTS Meal costs P260. For me, that’s already reasonable since you’re getting 10 pieces of McNuggets, one medium fries, one medium soft drink, two new dipping sauces, and the cute packaging. HYBE and McDonald’s have been straightforward about the marketing of the special menu since the beginning, so you get what you pay for.
Cajun or Sweet Chili?
Personally, I prefer the cajun dipping sauce. It tasted like a combination of yellow mustard and mayo. It slightly edges out the standard McNuggets dipping sauce for me. So, as I wait for my “BE Album” to arrive on my doorstep, let me just dunk my face into this sauce for now.
The sweet chili sauce is not bad, but I can’t taste a hint of sweetness in it. It tasted like a mild version of sriracha. Frankly, it’s nothing special.
I’d give the BTS Meal a 3 out of 5 stars. Because, let’s be real, you’re only paying for the cute packaging and two dipping sauces. It’s not an item that’s worth lining up early for—except if you’re an ARMY.
Personally though, as an ARMY myself, I would rather spend my money on BTS’ albums, virtual events, and the BTS x McDonald’s collaboration merch on Weverse. This is still a satisfying collaboration since it’s a win for both sides.
What are your thoughts on the BTS Meal?