According to McDonald’s, it’s been trying to appease nutritionists and other critics when it comes to the food the chain sells to children. In fact, it has gone so far as to eliminate French fries in children’s meals in experiments, but has run into a strong backlash from customers. So it is now going to try cutting back on the fries and adding a fruit or veggie. Expect a big marketing push as launch dates approach.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the fries in a meal will be cut by more than 50%, going from 2.4 oz. to 1.1 oz. In place of the missing fries, children will find an additional item – apple sticks, carrots, raisins, pineapple, mandarin oranges – whatever is available depending on time and place.
Test marketing will begin in September 2011, and a full roll-out is targeted for April 2012.
It is expected that on average the change will result in a 20% reduction in the calory count of kids’ meal offerings.
RBR-TVBR observation: As parents, we have to say that throwing a small serving of something healthy in with the rest of the same old stuff isn’t going to impress us all that much. But if we were totally worried about it, we wouldn’t be going to McDonald’s in the first place. A trip to McDonald’s should be seen by a parent as a treat, not a dietary regimen.
We provide a very balanced diet for our children and ourselves but hey – sometimes we just want a burger and fries and we don’t want it to be synthesized out of wheat germ, soy beans and Swiss chard.
The problem comes with those who care and/or know little about nutrition, and make fast food a regular part of the diet whether in a restaurant or at home. But it remains true that you can’t legislate against stupidity.
At any rate, this program will be a good excuse for McDonald’s to spend some money at your station.