July 27, 2011

USA: McDonald's introduces apples to Happy Meals as portion of fries halved

SYDNEY, NSW / The Sydney Morning Herald / Restaurants & Bars / July 27, 2011

Happy Meals ... they'll now include an apple in the US. Photo: Reuters

McDonald's in the US has announced it will tweak its Happy Meals, reducing the french fry portion by more than half and automatically adding apples to the popular children's meals, after coming under pressure from consumer groups to provide healthier fare.

McDonald's - which has been taking heat from parents, consumer groups and local lawmakers over the nutritional content and marketing of Happy Meals - said it would start making the changes in September and the new Happy Meals would be available in all of its 14,000 US restaurants by the end of the first quarter of 2012.

The new child's french fry portion will be 1.1 ounces (31.2 grams), down from 2.4 ounces previously, and equal to about 100 calories.

McDonald's currently offers apple slices with caramel dipping sauce as a Happy Meal side. The new apple portion size is 1.2 ounces, compared with 3.1 ounces previously, and has no added sugar or accompanying dipping sauces.

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Reuters with Glenda Kwek

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