Oct 5, 2013

News: McDonald's to Offer Healthy Side Options

McDonald's recently committed to make some changes to provide/push healthier options including making available a choice of side salad, fruit, or vegetable as a substitute for French fries in value meals.

The move comes in partnership with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a nonprofit whose stated goal in the matter is "to increase customers' access to fruit and vegetables and help families and children to make informed choices in keeping with balanced lifestyles."

The commitment applies to the chain's 20 largest markets (including the US), which represents about 85% of their sales worldwide.

The plan is to have the plain implemented in 30 to 50 percent of the affected markets within three years scaling to 100 percent by 2020.

The promise of a vegetable option is a bit interesting because McDonald's doesn't currently offer a vegetable side in the US. They do however offer carrot sticks in the UK and several European countries (along with cherry tomatoes in Spain) and cups of corn in several Asian countries.

Furthermore, as part of the commitment, they've also agreed to curb Happy Meal advertising and promotion. Specifically, McDonald's will:
  • Promote and market only water, milk, and juice as the beverage in Happy Meals on menu boards and in-store and external advertising 
  • Utilize Happy Meal and other packaging innovations and designs to generate excitement for fruit, vegetable, low/reduced-fat dairy, or water options for kids 
  • Dedicate Happy Meal box or bag panels to communicate a fun nutrition or children's well-being message 
  • Ensure 100 percent of all advertising directed to children to include a fun nutrition or children's well-being message
In case you're curious, the 20 largest McDonald's market are, in alphabetical order: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China (including Hong Kong), France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and United States.


  1. I have to wonder whether this is bowing to government pressure...or whether customers actually really want this..and I mean the majority of their customers...the REAL carnivores, not the few freaky vegans who think EVERY restaurant should offer them something.

  2. How about some damn carbonated water? Perrier, San pellegrino or just some damn poland springs carbonated?

  3. Considering the amount of Carbs in the average McDonalds meals those folks are nothing like a carnivore.

    I very occasionally will stop at a mcdonalds, I would like more of this stuff and would stop more often if they had it. Mr. Lardo Diabetes is going to go there no matter what, no need to spend more time attracting him.

  4. I'm guessing the government pressure had something to do with this. I highly doubt this is what customers want. If parents don't want their kids to eat too much fast food then they should simply not take them to fast food places. But for any adult it should be a choice of their own. I refuse to allow any health nut or anyone for that matter (with the exception of my mother) dictate what I can and can't eat. This is America and we have this thing called freedom of choice. And that's the bottom line.

  5. No milk, that is gross. I would prefer Gerolsteiner, but I can live with Perrier. Fruit would be nice, and if they could make a decent burger that would be awesome. Think twice as thick and cooked medium rare. The chicken sandwiches have gotten pretty good though. Salads are not too shabby either and if you don't use all the dressing not as bad for you as some would have you believe.


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