Big Mac® Sauce

The Story of the Big Mac® Special Sauce

When McDonald’s franchise owner Jim Delligatti first came up with his double patty, triple bun creation in 1967, he needed the perfect sauce to top it off. By 1968, the Big Mac® was launched nationally, and featured this delicious, creamy signature Big Mac® Special Sauce. 

Over the next few years, the formula was fine-tuned, and there were actually two different versions of the Special Sauce being used. To eliminate inconsistency, a single recipe was developed that satisfied customers who had a taste for either one. This became Big Mac® Sauce “72.”

In 1974, the name “Special Sauce” came into existence from the famous advertising campaign: "Two all-beef patties, Special Sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions – on a sesame seed bun."

The recipe was again tweaked in 1991 and remained that way until 2004 when Fred Turner, who had worked alongside founder Ray Kroc, wanted it changed back.

After tracking down the original formula in the McDonald’s archives, Turner contacted the supplier who had helped develop the Special Sauce years ago, and the recipe was returned.