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The Wall Street Journal reports that McDonald's continues to have serious problems - that while it remains the biggest fast food chain, "its growth has lacked luster and its stock has underperformed in the past year." The reason seems to be that it has not had a blockbuster new product introduction since 2003 (McGriddles), and the healthier foods it has introduced simply have not captured people's imaginations or any significant business.

To put that in perspective, rivals Wendy's Co. and Taco Bell "have recently scored hits with the Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger and Doritos Locos Tacos. Taco Bell has sold more than half a billion Doritos Locos Tacos - which have about 50 more milligrams of sodium than its regular tacos - since March 2012, making it one of the company's best-selling products ever. Analysts and franchisees says Wendy's pretzel burger - boasting 130 more calories than a Big Mac - has been a hot seller since it made its debut in July, and some predict Wendy's could make the limited-time offer a permanent menu item."

The question is whether McDonald's recent efforts, while they may have won plaudits from nutritionists, have muddled its message, confused its core customer base, and instead of making it all things to all people have made it a company that stands for nothing in particular.
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