McDonald’s USA says it plans to test adding more seasonal fruits and vegetables and additional produce to food dishes for its 2013 menu as it tries to entice more health-conscious consumers.
Jan Fields, McDonald’s USA president, made headlines Sept. 12 when she announced starting next week, the company will begin listing calorie information on restaurant and drive-thru menus nationwide. McDonald’s becomes the largest fast-food chain to begin posting calories in all its restaurants, while the federal menu-labeling law, which will require chain restaurants to list calories and offer nutrition information, has yet to go into effect.
"At McDonald's, we recognize customers want to know more about the nutrition content of the food and beverages they order," said Ms. Fields. "As a company that has provided nutrition information for more than 30 years, we are pleased to add to the ways we make nutrition information available to our customers and employees."
The fast-food restaurant chain also published a 2012 progress report that outlined its commitment to offer more nutritious choices. One of the examples of this progress was the company’s decision to include apple slices automatically with Happy Meals. The new Happy Meal is anticipated to introduce about 100 million cups of apples annually.
Another innovation was the introduction of fat-free chocolate milk as a low-fat dairy beverage for children.
"McDonald's initiatives to provide Apple Slices and a fat-free milk option in the Happy Meals are aligned with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, as is the goal to reduce sodium, added sugars and saturated fats in foods," Judith Rodriguez, chairwoman and professor, department of nutrition and dietetics, Brooks College of Health, said in a McDonald’s press statement.
But McDonald’s signaled a push to do more for the 2013 menu.
The fast-food giant revealed plans to test foods that would increase the number of wholesome choices on its menu. Among the additions being tested:
More seasonal fruit and vegetables options, such as blueberries and cucumbers, during peak seasons.
Additional produce side options and grilled chicken choices for Happy Meals.
A new McWrap, inspired by McDonald's Europe, that would feature fresh vegetables and available in three flavors – chicken and bacon, sweet chili chicken, and chicken and ranch – starting at 350 calories.
New breakfast choices, including an egg-white breakfast sandwich on an English muffin made with 8 grams of whole grain.
"We've made a lot of good progress toward our nutrition commitments and we recognize there's still more to do," said Cindy Goody, senior director of nutrition for McDonald's USA...
Source: Argentine Beef Packers S.A.
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