The fast food chain is now serving organic juice from Honest Kids instead of Minute Maid
The Happy Meal is getting healthy-ish.
McDonald’s announced it’s switching out Minute Made juice for an organic, watered-down version by Honest Kids, with half the calories and less sugar, this November.
A six-ounce box of Honest Kids Organic Appley Ever After contains 35 calories, eight grams of sugar and 42% juice. The same size box of Minute Maid apple juice has 80 calories, 19 grams of sugar and 100% juice, according to their websites. Both juices are made from concentrate, and the switch to Honest Kids remains in the Coca-Cola family — Coke owns Minute Made and purchased Honest beverages in 2011.
Organic juice is McDonald’s latest attempt at catering to more health conscience consumers. Last year, it removed artificial preservatives in its Chicken McNuggets, and gave customers the option to order 1% milk or fat free chocolate milk along with healthier snack options like low-fat yogurt, sliced apples and clementines. And in the past six years, it has reduced the size of its french fry servings in Happy Meals by more than half. The chain has also added more salads to the menu, and stopped promoting soda as an option in their kid’s meals and instead began offering juice and water on menus and in advertising.
One Happy Meal with a cheeseburger, fries, yogurt and juice contains around 540 calories and 18 grams of fat, that’s on par with the typical fast food entree which is 560 calories on average, according to a report in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. And a similar kid’s meal at Burger King is about 520 calories. School-age kids need about 1,600 to 2,500 calories per day.
McDonald’s inclusion of healthier items is a reflection of the fast food industry’s ongoing initiative to promote cleaner eating. Taco Bell, known for its outrageous hybrid bites like Doritos shelled tacos and fried cinnamon-bun balls, pledged to cut out artificial ingredients and use cage-free eggs, in addition to offering a lower-calorie menu. It’s all an effort to combat growing healthier food chains like Chipotle and Dig Inn.
McDonald’s is hardly the first to implement the healthier juice option. Chains such as Wendy’s, Chick-fil-A and Subway have added the brand to menus as soda sales continue to decline. Honest Tea’s juice, tea and other beverages are expected to earn $400 million in retail sales globally this year, according to the Associated Press.
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