Healthier McDonald's Happy Meal debuts in SoCal
About 600 McDonald's restaurants in Southern California, including nearly 100 in Orange County, will be among the first in the country to unveil a healthier Happy Meal.
By Friday, local McDonald's will serve Happy Meals with sliced apples and a smaller portion of fries.
The move is part of a previously announced strategy by McDonald’s to promote better eating habits among its customers. The rest of the nation is expected to start selling the new Happy Meal in early 2012.
"We are thrilled to be one of the first markets to offer the new Happy Meal to our customers," said Michael Mangione, president of the McDonald’s Operators’ Association of Southern California. "At McDonald’s, the customer always comes first, and with the new Happy Meal we are reinforcing our commitment to offer our youngest customers improved nutrition choices."
In late July, McDonald's announced the following healthy initiatives:
- The new Happy Meal will automatically include both a quarter cup or half serving of apple slices and a new smaller: 1.1 ounce side of fries. A new fat-free chocolate milk and 1 percent lowfat white milk will also be an added choice for kids. If you want apples only, customers will get two bags upon request, McDonald’s said. McDonald’s said the changes are estimated to result in a 20 percent reduction in calories in the chain’s most popular Happy Meals. (Related: Jack in the Box scraps toys, add apples in June 2011)
- By 2020, McDonald’s will reduce added sugars, saturated fat and calories “through varied portion sizes, reformulations and innovations.”
- By 2015, McDonald’s will reduce sodium by an average of 15 percent on all menu items available on a national scale.
- McDonald’s will launch a mobile app so customers can access nutrition information on-the-go.
- In 2012, McDonald’s will raise nutrition awareness among children and parents through campaign messages via various marketing platforms: merchandising, advertising, digital and the Happy Meal packaging.
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