McDonalds is Making Changes
Recently, I received an invite from McDonalds to attend a media/influencer event to learn about McDonald’s new food philosophy. The invite boasted of the improved chicken McNuggets made of all white meat chicken with NO preservatives, artificial flavors, colors or antibiotics not important to human medicine. I was a little hesitant about McDonald’s healthy approach because I couldn’t remember the last time, I had eaten a chicken McNugget. I admit I occasionally take my kids there, and I have noticed small changes to the Happy Meals- Cutie oranges, Go-Gurt (yogart) and apple slices. Yet, for me to start eating at McDonald’s again, I needed to see positive proof of changes.
I brought 4-year-old son with me to the event at the Walnut St McDonalds in Cary. This location is a Green, LED certified restaurant. It’s clean, light and if wasn’t for the golden arches on the wall, you would never believe you are in a McDonalds. We met Ric Richards, the owner/operator of 16 Triangle Area McDonalds, a mother and owner/operator of a McDonalds in Fayetteville and a mother of twins who works in marketing for McDonalds. They all had a shared passion for working for the McDonalds corporation, and they were eager to tell their story. It began with the importance of families to their business. McDonalds caters to kids with their Playplaces and Happy Meals, but to reach their target market they must accommodate parents desire to feed their kids nutritious food.
They wanted us to know that they have heard our complaints and disappointment on the way they target our children with their shiny Happy Meal toys, but haven’t delivered on a wholesome and healthy meal. They also wanted us to know that they are making changes. They’re raising the bar and making rules on their chicken farms to ensure healthy chickens. They are experimenting with new menu items like the hand-breaded chicken tenders available at the Walnut St, Cary location. They are starting to implement a “clean label” on their menu items like their chicken McNuggets. Some other notable changes are: new buns made with No high fructose corn syrup, real butter on breakfast sandwiches, 100% cage-free eggs, a removal of artificial preservatives, colors or flavors from the breakfast pork sausage patty, omelet-style eggs and scrambled eggs, and substituting fries for a salad.
My son and I had the chance to taste the chicken McNuggets and hand-breaded chicken tenders, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The nuggets were crispy on the outside, and the chicken meat tasted good and fresh. McDonalds doesn’t deny serving food that’s prepared in their factory, flash frozen, and delivered to restaurants to cook. The hand breaded chicken tenders are prepared a little differently with the chicken being thawed, hand breaded and then cooked in the restaurant.
At the end of their presentation, McDonalds wanted our feedback. How could they make things better? What things did we like? Did we have any new menu ideas? Our group offered a few suggestions, but I want to hear your opinion and suggestions. I will share your answers with McDonalds, and hopefully we will see more changes in a healthy direction.