McDonald's upsizes healthier-food options
OAK BROOK, ILLINOIS
MCDONALD'S will replace corn syrup in hamburger buns with sugar this month and has removed antibiotics that are important to human medicine from its chicken months ahead of schedule, it said on Monday.
The moves are part of its drive to target increasingly health-conscious consumers.
The fast-food giant also said it eliminated artificial preservatives from Chicken McNuggets and several breakfast items, including scrambled eggs.
McDonald's is reacting to a shift in consumer tastes towards more natural foods and competing with other restaurants that are also overhauling their menus.
McDonald's United States president Mike Andres said the changes will affect about half its menu and more will follow.
Some consumers have turned away from products with high-fructose corn syrup because of concerns it may be linked to obesity.
McDonald's is "following the customers" in switching to sucrose in buns used on Big Macs, Quarter Pounders, hamburgers and other sandwiches, said Marion Gross, senior vice-president of its North America supply chain.
It stopped adding an artificial preservative to the cooking oil used to make Chicken McNuggets and removed artificial preservatives from pork sausage patties, eggs served on McGriddles breakfast sandwiches and scrambled eggs on breakfast platters.
It also axed chicken skin, safflower oil and citric acid from the meat of its McNuggets.
Costs related to the changes will not be passed on.
McDonald's had previously planned to stop buying chicken raised with antibiotics important to human medicine from suppliers by March next year.
It completed the change earlier due to quicker than expected work by the US Department of Agriculture, which helped to verify that the birds were not given the drugs.
Health experts have raised concerns that the overuse of antibiotics for poultry may diminish their effectiveness in fighting diseases in humans.