AN INTERVIEW with USA Today revealed that global restaurant chain McDonald’s is to introduce more fruit and vegetable options to their Happy Meals.
The online interview reports that Cuties clementine’s from Sun Pacific, an American supplier of fruit, will be added as a seasonal fruit option from this Autumn along with “junior” bananas which are smaller than the conventional banana. Blueberries and grapes are also being tested as a future option, with grapes already proving successful in Europe.
The new addition to Happy Meals comes with McDonald’s push to include whole fruits rather than the current apple slices in order to reduce the waste and costs of packaging and labour. However, apple slices have been a hit in restaurants across America with more than 1.1 billion packages sold since 2012.
Speaking to USA Today, Greg Watson, Senior Vice President of menu innovation said: "This is consistent with what we've said we'd do. This is part of the journey we started four years ago to make Mom feel better about Happy Meals."
For McDonald’s, it’s about creating Happy Meals that appeal both to kids and their parents as the clementines will also be available to buy separately. It’s also a response to health advocates and nutritionists pushing for improved food and beverage offerings that target children.
Last month, McDonald’s also rolled out it’s new Go-GURT low fat yoghurt for children’s meals which contain 50 calories, has 25% less sugar than other leading low fat yoghurts and is made with natural flavours. The new additions to the McDonald’s kids menus are part of their “Commitment to Offer Improved Nutrition Choices”, however, ensuring children eat their vegetables is proving trickier to do with Watson adding; “It’s much more challenging to come up with vegetables that kids will be excited about”.
It is unclear when the new whole fruit portions will be available in the UK.