McDonalds unveils healthy food strategy

Global food giant McDonalds has proclaimed itself as a self-appointed, self-regulated champion of the debate surrounding junk food advertising to children.

The company has revealed it will introduce a seven-point plan to market itself as a leader in the fight to promote healthy food.

Speaking today at a conference organised by the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers, Larry Light, executive vice president and global chief marketing officer for McDonalds, said the corporation would overhaul its healthy food charter and introduce a raft of new product lines.

McDonalds is expected to launch a new PittaMac – based on the traditional pitta bread loaded with roasted vegetables – and a new walnut salad, among other items.

Light said the move would “help set an example to others”, while the corporation would also attempt to repair the damage inflicted on it from books – such as Fast Food nation – and the recent Supersize Me movie.

McDonalds would be “focussing on rebuilding trust – trust is a must”, Light told delegates at the conference, by making more nutritional information available to consumers.

The seven-point, self-regulation charter includes a new tagline, “It’s What I Eat, And What I Do”.

Light said the charter would provide the consumer with more choice and more nutritional information – focussing on children’s wellbeing; being open and transparent; working with nutritional experts; and applying McDonalds marketing expertise to address the obesity issue.

He added: “We will use our size and strength to be an example to others.”

By Mark Banham