McDonald's unveiled Feb. 15 a new limited edition straw that has been re-engineered so that customers can enjoy its Shamrock Shake drink better. The company had to engage the services of two engineering firms to achieve this objective.

What McDonald's wanted was to produce a contraption that can deliver the desired experience and taste of its new Shamrock recipes. For example, there is the case of the chocolate Shamrock Shake.

Reinventing Shamrock Straw

According to the company, the straw will have to deliver the chocolate and mint flavor in equal ratio whenever you take a sip. It appears that the traditional straw is incapable of such feat, so JACE and NK Labs were brought in.

"It was a puzzling assignment but one with an ambitious goal," Seth Newburg, principal engineer and managing partner at NK Labs, stated. "From a physics perspective, it's actually quite difficult to deliver a proportional amount of both chocolate and mint flavors with each sip."

The engineers were able to develop the Suction Tube for Reverse Axial Withdrawal (the STRAW), which is claimed to be capable of showcasing the marvel of fluid dynamics. It is a J-shaped affair that was built with the help of the Fibonacci sequence, an integer sequence attributed to the mathematical genius Leonardo Fibonacci.


Folks at JACE and NK Labs reportedly toiled to produce the straw, or the STRAW, if you, will for months. That is quite ostentatious given the more pressing problems that require brilliant engineering minds, but we, of course, are not displeased especially if they were indeed able to successfully construct something that would take our Shamrock Shake experiences to new heights.

The straw will start appearing in McCafés in 80 cities as the Shamrock Shake becomes available again in the next few weeks to commemorate St. Patrick's Day. Unfortunately, McDonald's said that it ordered only 2,000 straws. Consumers can blame its unique design for such limited number. It seems that any volume beyond that will no longer make it in time for the Shamrock season.

Aside from the chocolate Shamrock Shake flavor, you can also use the straw to experience the optimal flavor flow dynamics of three other Shamrock Shake beverages: Shamrock Chocolate Chip Frappe, Shamrock Mocha, and Shamrock Hot Chocolate.

Those who might feel that this straw business is a bit frivolous for comfort and would feel a tad guilty for indulging nonetheless, well, you can reassure yourself that McDonald's will be donating $0.25 for every Shamrock Shake purchased to the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

This latest innovation is hopefully going to fare better than previous McDonald's campaigns.

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