McDonald's Launches 'Favorites Under 400 Calories'

New U.S. menu platform "puts calories front and center"

Published in CSP Daily News

OAK BROOK, Ill. -- This week, McDonald's USA LLC is introducing "Favorites Under 400 Calories," a new menu platform featuring existing popular food and beverage choices at its counters and drive-thrus nationwide. The fast feeder is also spotlighting select items from the new menu in its "Win When USA Wins Gold" London 2012 Olympic Games online promotion.

"Favorites Under 400 Calories is one more way we're making nutrition information accessible. Like our mobile app, this platform aims to empower our customers and employees to make choices that are right for their nutrition needs," said Neil Golden, chief marketing officer for McDonald's USA. "We've found that customers are surprised to learn about the calorie content of some of their favorite menu options at McDonald's. In fact, customers may be surprised to know that about 80% of national menu choices are under 400 calories for the standard recipe."

(Based on nutrition facts for national standard-recipe menu items posted on www.mcdonalds.com as of May 2012. It does not include sauces, salad dressings, custom orders and additional condiments.)

Recent research suggests only about one in seven Americans (15%) accurately estimates the number of calories they need to maintain their weight. (International Food Information Council Foundation, 2012 Food & Health Survey. Consumer Attitudes Towards Food Safety, Nutrition & Health.)

In addition to listing calories, various promotional materials highlight the average adult needs about 2,000 calories a day, although individual calorie needs vary.

"McDonald's is bringing greater awareness to calories starting with some of customers' favorite menu items for under 400 calories," said Cindy Goody, McDonald's USA senior director of nutrition. "With Favorites Under 400 Calories, we hope to help customers understand how their choices fit within their daily recommended calorie needs, particularly with portion sizing and eating in moderation."

The Win When USA Wins Gold promotion begins July 24. Customers have two ways to win. Select items from the new menu contain a game piece and customers can peel and win prizes instantly including free McDonald's Favorites Under 400 Calories menu items. Additionally, all game pieces have a code that customers can enter at www.USAWinsGold.com. From this site, customers compete alongside the Team USA Olympians for a chance to win prizes whenever the USA wins a gold medal in a specified event. Prizes include $25,000 in gold, trips to London and Panasonic VIERA HDTVs.

Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald's, which now has 14,000 U.S. restaurants, started providing nutrition information more than 35 years ago, it said.