Why McDonald’s Changed Happy Meal Menu

| December 3, 2018
McDonald's Outlet

When talking about fast food giants, the two golden arches will flash in everyone’s minds (including kids). A good news for health advocates is that McDonald’s is cutting calories from the best seller, “Happy Meals”. Cheeseburgers and chocolate milk are losing their spots from the menu.


How Many Customers Will Benefit

Headquartered in Oakbrook, Illinois, the company has outlets in over 100 countries serving over 69 million customers daily.

Any health initiative by the food giant is likely to have a positive impact on millions of customers worldwide.

How Many Calories Will Happy Meal Contain Post Change?

From June, McDonald’s US menu boards will post chicken nuggets or hamburgers as the main item of choice in popular kid’s meal. That includes a filmy toy gift (as usual).
Cheeseburger and chocolate milk will be barred in an attempt to cut the junk image. Bottled water will find a place in the menu.

To sum up, the changes will reduce the calorie content of “Happy Meals” 600 or lesser.

Cheeseburger Not in Menu
Cheeseburger Not in Menu

Why CEO Thinks Change Will Benefit Customers?

Since 1970 child obesity rates in the US have almost tripled. McDonald’s has increasingly started using healthier ingredients. The fast-food giant has already made several changes to the all-time favorite “Happy Meals”.

Changes include the introduction of apple slices, yogurt, tangerines, and carrots in place of fries.

The objective of the company is clear from a statement by the Chief Executive Officer, Steve Easterbrook:

“We hope these actions will bring more choices to consumers and uniquely benefit millions of families, which are important steps as we build a better McDonald’s,”

Is the Change Local to US?

The company has set a target for 2022. The target is at least 50 percent of global outlets will have less than 600 calories in Happy Meal. Also, 10 percent of calories will be from saturated fat, 650 mg sodium and 10 percent from added sugar.

How are Customers Reacting?

The changes to the menu have evoked mixed responses from Happy Meal fan.

Past Initiatives by McDonald’s and Rivals

McDonald’s added apples to Happy Meals in 2011. Also, soda was removed from Kid’s menu in 2013. After the removal of Soda, the Happy Meal fell by as much as 14%, the company said.

Not just McDonald’s but Wendy’s, Burger King and many other companies have removed Soda.

Why soda was removed

Soda, in general, is falling out of favor. Traditional soda companies like PepsiCo have started promoting healthier beverages. To combat the widespread consumption, some states have introduced soda taxes.

Dunkin’ Donuts removed titanium dioxide out of powdered donuts.

Why was titanium dioxide removed?

Titanium dioxide is a whitening agent used in paint, plastic, sunscreen etc. Obviously, the substance doesn’t sound good when a part of the ingredient list!

Subway announced it will no longer use azodicarbonamide in bread a few years ago.

Why was azodicarbonamide removed?

Azodicarbonamide is linked to kidney issues. Some common uses are volume and texture improvement in cereal flour and bread. The chemical is used as a whitening agent and “dough conditioner”. Other applications are in products made of plastic, such as yoga mats.)

Summary: Can McDonald’s Sustain the Family-Friendly Image?

McDonald’s is known for getting more business from families with children. The Happy Meal is a key part of that. Families now are becoming increasingly concerned about the rise in obesity, diabetes, and hypertension due to junk food. McDonald’s realizes a need for cutting junk as far as possible to sustain the family-friendly image. McDonald’s recent step of cutting calories from Happy Meal is an example of how the company aims to march into the future.