No doubt hoping to stop the recent tide of Ronald bashing, McDonald's announced today that it will begin including fruit in every single Happy Meal it sells. But wait, you say, isn't McDonald's already offering the little runts fruit options? That is true, but until now those Apple Dippers were only available as an alternative to fries, and kids aren't stupid; only 11 percent of choosy children were ready to trade bland pre-cut apples slices for a bag of the chain's gloriously golden fried spuds. Now there is no option. Both will be included in each and every box, albeit in smaller sizes.
The portion size for fries is shrinking from 2.4 ounces to 1.1 ounces, while the fruit option is reducing from 3.1 ounces to 1.2 ounces. Gone, too, is the caramel dipping sauce, which kind of makes sense. Watch for the changes to come to selected markets in September, with all 14,000 outlets switching by next April.
Most bizarrely of all, Jan Fields, the president of McDonald's USA, tells the Tribune that the fruit option will depend on "the time of year or the region in which they're being served." Doesn't this suspiciously sound like McDonald's is getting into the local, seasonal game? Of course, the predicted options — raisins, pineapple slices, and mandarin oranges — wouldn't exactly please Alice Waters. Still, we love that Fields just can't bring herself to say those two words out loud.
Happy Meal to tilt at obesity [Chicago Tribune]