McD’s to Put Nutrition Information in Plain Sight

Discussion
Oct 26, 2005
George Anderson

By George Anderson

From now on, when someone asks, “Do you know how many calories, fat, etc. are in that?,” you will have an answer. At least if you’re at McDonald’s, that is.

The fast food restaurant chain announced it will include nutrition information on its product packaging in the first half of 2006. The packaging will be available in restaurants
in North, Central and South America, Europe and Asia.

In a press release, Jim Skinner, chief executive officer of McDonald’s, said, “Customers are coming to McDonald’s in record numbers, and we take their trust in our Brand very
seriously. That’s why we want them to have easy-to-understand nutrition information about our great-tasting food and wide range of menu options. We are putting the information
customers need literally into their hands. This initiative makes it easier than ever to understand the quality that goes into our food. We’re very confident that the more information
people have, the more they will like what they see at McDonald’s.”

Mike Roberts, president and chief operating officer, added, “There is nothing more important to McDonald’s than building customer trust and loyalty around the world. We listen
closely to our customers so we know how important transparency is, which is what this initiative is all about. Adding nutrition information to our packaging will help our customers
meet their individual taste preferences and nutrition requirements, as well as choose from our menu of quality food and portion sizes.”

Nutritional information will be conveyed with comparisons to daily requirements. Packages will include calories, protein, fat, carbohydrates and sodium data.

McDonald’s said it will support its nutritional information initiative with additional educational materials to be distributed in stores and on the company’s web site.

Moderator’s Comment: What impact will adding nutritional information to its packaging have on McDonald’s? Will it, for example, have any impact on future
new menu additions?

George Anderson – Moderator

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10 Comments on "McD’s to Put Nutrition Information in Plain Sight"


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Mark Lilien
Guest
15 years 4 months ago

Assuming the info is printed legibly instead of using micro type, it may drive more sales to the salads. The salads are higher price points than many other items. McDonald’s could then formulate other “healthier” items, using the nutrition info as a selling tool. On grocery shelves, “healthy” items are often more expensive.

Rick Moss
Guest
15 years 4 months ago

You can help all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but some people just ain’t gonna change. (I think Bob Dylan said that.)

There are lots of people hitting McD’s on their lunch hour a few times a week who may now be able to regulate their intake with more intelligence. There are parents who will now be able to make better choices for themselves and their kids. But, obviously, there are those who will be oblivious, and I doubt if McD’s will ever be able to do anything about that segment of the population, nor should they feel responsible for their personal irresponsibility.

Karen Kingsley
Guest
Karen Kingsley
15 years 4 months ago

When this story was reported on this morning’s news, the tag was “because many Americans blame McDonald’s for the obesity epidemic.” I am on the side of those who say that the chain does not force feed its burger to anyone. As long as they are not misleading about what’s in their food – and, by the way, the nutrition information has been available online and on the wall for years – they are not responsible if people over-consume.

This does make it easier for consumers to make an informed decision about what they eat. I do believe the lack of deniability will change some people’s behavior; most will continue to eat as they do, and a few will trade up to healthier choices.

I truly believe the greatest beneficiary of this initiative will be McD’s: they are off the hook for providing information and, as has been pointed out, many will trade-up to more expensive, healthier alternatives.

Warren Thayer
Guest
15 years 4 months ago

I agree with the general thread. It might actually get me to set foot inside a McDonald’s again. For years, I’ve just assumed everything there is horrible for you, and stayed away. I remain skeptical, but may consider it an option worth an experimental trip or two. Before, if I was really hungry, and there was a McDonald’s around, I wouldn’t even consider going there. I hardly think I am the only person who feels this way. In the anecdotal experience area, I used to frantically crave junk food; now I no longer miss it. And yes, the craving was much like cigarettes. So, I am a little afraid of having “just one” Big Mac or whatever, of fear I’ll be hooked onto it again. But I do recognize it as my own responsibility, and am hoping the food police do not gain any more power than they have today.

Greg Coghill
Guest
Greg Coghill
15 years 4 months ago

No one thinks McDonald’s is healthy. Those who ignored the fact before will continue to do so. They just don’t care. Good PR move and good liability insurance for McD’s though.

Al McClain
Guest
Al McClain
15 years 4 months ago

This will be a non event, except in the short term, for the company and consumers. Initially, people may gasp when they see how much fat is in a Double Cheeseburger, but the novelty will wear off and people will go back to eating what they like. What this does is protect McDonald’s from people who say they didn’t know, ala tobacco, although I’m sure they wish the protection were retroactive. Really, though, the bottom line is that you can eat fast food once in awhile, as “part of a balanced diet” as they like to say. Those eating an unbalanced diet won’t change because of a label or two. And, McDonald’s already offers some pretty good salads.

David Livingston
Guest
15 years 4 months ago

McDonalds certainly is not going to promote something that is intended to decrease consumption. I know the cigarette companies offer consumers options on quitting smoking, and I haven’t figured that one out. Hopefully McDonald’s will turn this into a positive thing. I’m sure they want to get back into the high schools and hospitals. Posting nutrition info is certainly more positive than putting warning labels on hamburger wrappers.

Bernice Hurst
Guest
15 years 4 months ago

Uh oh, here comes the cynic. Nutritional info about McDonald’s products has been available, as others have pointed out, for some time. The dip in their sales has turned back upwards again, partly due to menu changes which are not entirely as healthy as the promotional material would like us all to think. But information on labels? Does it not occur to them that people will not be able to see such details until AFTER they have made their choice and spent their money? Does anyone seriously think that food just purchased is then going to be returned or thrown away? While I am all in favour of making information available so that people can make their choices, it does seem to me that it should happen before those choices are made rather than after.

John Stone
Guest
John Stone
15 years 4 months ago

It will make no difference. Everyone already knows that fast food is notoriously poor nutrition. People do not eat at McDonald’s because they are looking for healthy food to eat. They eat there because they can depend on their food to consistently be cheap, quick, and satisfying, and because they know that McDonald’s restaurants are clean and pleasant. The printing of the nutritional information on the packaging will provide entertainment as people fill themselves with cholesterol and sugar.

Lisa Everitt
Guest
Lisa Everitt
15 years 4 months ago
I think putting the nutrition info on food packaging will become a great teaching tool for parents, to be able to tell kids, in the moment, “This is what you’re eating.” Until now, you had to go to McDonald’s web site to find out, for example, that a 16 oz. chocolate shake has 580 calories and 14 grams of fat, or that sausage McMuffin with egg has 26 grams of fat, 40 percent of the recommended amount for a whole day. Even the healthier stuff has red flags … I was surprised to see the grilled chicken club sandwich has 590 calories, 22 grams of fat and a whopping 1690 mg of sodium, 70 percent of one’s daily allotment. The salads have good numbers if you don’t care about salt; if you’re watching sodium, leave off the chicken. Check it out: (Click for nutritional info on McDonald’s web site.) My son’s science class watched “Super Size Me” last spring and he stopped asking for fast food. We grabbed Golden Arches last week because of a… Read more »
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