Happy Meals, happy apple growers - The Packer

Happy Meals, happy apple growers

11/01/2011 07:45:00 AM
Mike Hornick

Courtesy New York Apple Assn.McDonald's franchise owners and New York apple industry members meet to celebrate the fast food chain's inclusion of apples in all Happy Meals. McDonald's franchise owners Doug Arnott (from left), Roger Grout and Pat Arnott, with vice president of New York Apple Sales Inc. John Cushing, New York Apple Association president Jim Allen, Bowman Orchards owner Kevin Bowman, and first deputy commissioner of the New York State Department of Agriculture Robert Haggerty meet at a Guilderland, N.Y,, McDonalds for the event.McDonald’s franchise owners met with New York apple industry leaders to celebrate the restaurant chain’s reconfigured Happy Meals, which now automatically include fresh apple slices.

At a McDonald’s in Guilderland, N.Y., the owners met Oct. 28 with Jim Allen, president of the New York Apple Association, and growers.

New York varieties like empires and galas will make up part of McDonald’s supply chain. Apples are a 30-million bushel crop for the state in 2011, grown on more than 45,000 acres.

In July, McDonalds USA president Jan Fields said a rollout of the new Happy Meals would begin in limited markets in September, then spread nationwide. Fields said the inclusion of peeled apple slices with french fries would eliminate disputes between parents and children.

McDonald’s reduced the serving size of the fries from 2.4 ounces to 1.1 ounces, about 100 calories. The apple packets come in quarter-cup servings, and parents have the option to request double apples and no fries.

All 14,000 U.S. restaurants in the chain were expected to offer the new Happy Meal by the end of the first quarter in 2012. Last year, McDonald’s sold more than 220 million Happy Meals in the U.S.

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Bend  |  November, 02, 2011 at 12:56 PM

If parents are paying the money then they should also have the option to request a normal order of french fries for their children, also. I went through the McDonalds last night and bought my child a Happy Meal as a treat and was super disappointed to find that someone was now making our decisions for us. If you think this move was to eliminate disputes between children and parents, that is just silly. I am the parent; if I want apples with my child's meal and my child doesn't, I am still the one who decides. This is just an attemp by someone who thinks they know better than everyone else to micro-manage others.

Rhianna Butler    
Laramie Wyomine  |  November, 03, 2011 at 12:40 PM

I think that this is a great idea. McDonalds has taken alot of heat from parents saying McDonalds is making their children fat. So as a company, McDonalds responded by making products directed for children healthier. If parents want to complain because McDonalds is giving them what they wanted, then go for it. However, I (as a parent), am happy for the new changes.

maine  |  November, 03, 2011 at 08:54 PM

Parents do still have options. The integration of apples in the happy meal line still has the availability to be served with just apples, or just fries. Just as in the past customers could request apples instead of fries, we are giving customers options.

Kansas City  |  November, 07, 2011 at 01:33 PM

My goodness, complain, complain, complain, get over it. No one is making a decision for anyone, just like what comes in vegetable soup, it just comes in vegetable soup. Get over it.

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