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A whole new way to eat at McDonald's:

menu to receive ingredients overhaul


By Associated Press, adapted by Newsela staff on 08.25.16
Word Count 625

In this March 4, 2015, le photo, an order of McDonald's Chicken McNuggets is displayed for a photo in Olmsted Falls,
Ohio. McDonalds had signaled changes were in store in late 2014, and the company said it was evaluating the cooking
procedures and ingredients for its core menu items. Photo: AP Photo/Mark Duncan, File

NEW YORK, N.Y. In an attempt to convince people it does not serve processed junk
food, McDonald's is removing some unpopular ingredients from its food.
That includes making Chicken McNuggets and other items without articial preservatives,
and removing high-fructose corn syrup from its burger buns. The preservatives are
chemicals, which makes food last longer, and health experts say that the corn syrup is not
healthy. McDonald's did not immediately respond when asked about which specic
preservatives are being removed.

Customer Cravings Changing


The changes come as the world's biggest burger chain ghts to win back customers. For
the third straight year, McDonald's has experienced declining guest counts at its
established U.S. locations. In general, major restaurant chains are scrambling to improve
the image of their food as they face more competition from smaller rivals promising
healthier alternatives.

"Why go to the position of trying to defend them, if the consumer is saying, 'I prefer not to
have that particular ingredient in my food'?" said Mike Andres. He is president of
McDonald's U.S.
How meaningful the changes are to customers remains to be seen.
Michael Jacobson is the executive director for the Center for Science in the Public
Interest, an organization that promotes safer and healthier food. He said that McDonald's
isn't seeming to address the big-picture problem with restaurant food too many calories.
For instance, he said swapping out high-fructose corn syrup for sugar doesn't make
burger buns any healthier.
In the past year and a half, McDonald's has also switched from margarine to butter for its
Egg McMufns, and added kale and spinach to its salads. Its rivals have made changes
as well.

Competitors Concerned About Cleaner Foods, Too


Dunkin' Donuts, for instance, has promised to put more egg in its egg patty. Currently, the
patty looks like a fried egg, but its ingredients include egg whites, water, egg yolks and
modied corn starch, which is treated with chemicals or enzymes to change its texture.
Taco Bell is also removing articial ingredients and said it would switch to actual black
pepper rather than "black pepper avor." Meanwhile, it continues trying to lure new diners
with caloric concoctions and frozen, neon-colored drinks.
Subway has introduced a "rotisserie chicken" and "carved turkey" that look and feel more
natural than its regular chicken strips and turkey. It's keeping both versions to avoid
alienating fans who might not want any changes.
But convincing people it serves wholesome food is particularly important for McDonald's,
which attracts families with its Happy Meals.

Building A Better Business Model


The company's sales in its U.S. market are getting better. It has been helped by the fanfare
over the introduction of an all-day breakfast menu in October. In the most recent quarter,
though, McDonald's said sales rose just 1.8 percent at its locations. This may mean that
any excitement from all-day Egg McMufns could already be losing steam.
McDonald's had signaled that tweaks to its menu were in store. It told investors during a
presentation in late 2014, that it was evaluating its cooking procedures and ingredients as
part of its push to x its struggling businesses.
"We need to think about our ingredient labels as being much smaller," Andres said at the
time.

The company also said Monday it has phased out chicken raised with antibiotics important
to human medicine. Scientists say that use of antibiotics on farms to raise larger, healthier
animals also contributes to the rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs, which can cause
infections that are hard to treat in humans.
Reporters Monday also posted images of new items like "breakfast bowls" the company is
testing. And a McDonald's chef demonstrated making Egg McMufns with freshly cracked
eggs. The company is trying to emphasize the message that it serves real food.

Quiz
1

Read the selection from the section "Customer Cravings Changing".

The changes come as the world's biggest burger chain ghts to win
back customers. For the third straight year, McDonald's has
experienced declining guest counts at its established U.S. locations.
In general, major restaurant chains are scrambling to improve the
image of their food as they face more competition from smaller rivals
promising healthier alternatives.
Which of the following can be inferred from the selection above?

(A)

McDonald's menu changes will expand its customer base and sales will
soon increase.

(B)

McDonald's suspects that declining sales are related to changes in


customer preferences.

(C)

McDonald's declining sales and struggles with its image are unique among
major fast food chains.

(D)

McDonald's has only recently become aware of its declining sales and will
be investigating the reasons.

In order to improve sales, McDonald's might have a greater need to offer healthier options than
its competitors.
Which paragraph from the section "Competitors Concerned About Cleaner Foods, Too" BEST
supports the statement above?

Which answer choice BEST describes Michael Jacobson's attitude toward McDonald's menu
changes?
(A)

He is skeptical; he thinks that McDonald's changes might not actually be


any healthier.

(B)

He is supportive; he thinks that McDonald's could be a leader in providing


safer fast-food items.

(C)

He is hopeful; he believes McDonald's is taking steps to address the bigpicture problem.

(D)

He is critical; he believes that McDonald's changes are only motivated by


their prot goals.

All of the following are ways in which McDonald's is trying to promote its new menu EXCEPT:
(A)

They are demonstrating how they make breakfast food, such as eggs.

(B)

They are planning to make their ingredient labels shorter.

(C)

They are planning to put a calorie limit on all the foods in their new menu.

(D)

They have eliminated using chickens that have been fed antibiotics.

Answer Key
1

Read the selection from the section "Customer Cravings Changing".

The changes come as the world's biggest burger chain ghts to win
back customers. For the third straight year, McDonald's has
experienced declining guest counts at its established U.S. locations.
In general, major restaurant chains are scrambling to improve the
image of their food as they face more competition from smaller rivals
promising healthier alternatives.
Which of the following can be inferred from the selection above?

(A)

McDonald's menu changes will expand its customer base and sales will
soon increase.

(B)

McDonald's suspects that declining sales are related to changes in


customer preferences.

(C)

McDonald's declining sales and struggles with its image are unique among
major fast food chains.

(D)

McDonald's has only recently become aware of its declining sales and will
be investigating the reasons.

In order to improve sales, McDonald's might have a greater need to offer healthier options than
its competitors.
Which paragraph from the section "Competitors Concerned About Cleaner Foods, Too" BEST
supports the statement above?
Paragraph 11:
But convincing people it serves wholesome food is particularly important for
McDonald's, which attracts families with its Happy Meals.

Which answer choice BEST describes Michael Jacobson's attitude toward McDonald's menu
changes?
(A)

He is skeptical; he thinks that McDonald's changes might not actually


be any healthier.

(B)

He is supportive; he thinks that McDonald's could be a leader in providing


safer fast-food items.

(C)

He is hopeful; he believes McDonald's is taking steps to address the bigpicture problem.

(D)

He is critical; he believes that McDonald's changes are only motivated by


their prot goals.

All of the following are ways in which McDonald's is trying to promote its new menu EXCEPT:
(A)

They are demonstrating how they make breakfast food, such as eggs.

(B)

They are planning to make their ingredient labels shorter.

(C)

They are planning to put a calorie limit on all the foods in their new
menu.

(D)

They have eliminated using chickens that have been fed antibiotics.