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.