By the end of the year, McDonald’s aims to have workers creating food with 35% less calories, 20% less saturated fat and 14% less salt—aiming to be leading the fast food industry in that regard.
The chain, which has been undergoing a massive overhaul in recent years, is touting a suite of changes it is taking to help customers make healthier decisions.
McDonald’s is planning to have French fries with 30% less fat and will eliminate trans fat from its apple sauce and other syrups by the end of 2019. Its new, zero-calorie McFlurry is already being sold in parts of Canada.
The company has already added more fruit and vegetables to its menu and its restaurants.
The change is also largely driven by consumers. Americans want fewer calories, saturated fat and sodium in their foods, experts say.
“We’re moving in a direction of reducing calories, saturated fat and sodium. We’re trying to get as close to zero as possible,” said Julie Kealoha, a nutritionist at McDonald’s.
In 2017, McDonald’s had a menu that had 116,998 items, or about 6.2 calories per item. That number is down to 9,895 items, or about 2.8 calories per item, by the end of this year.
Still, the company is sticking with its famously juicy burgers and fries. It’s adding a few new items to its menu. For example, it’s introducing Big Mac Mini sandwiches, which are small versions of the chain’s classic burgers.
McDonald’s is also taking out many items that it says are too unhealthy, like low-fat yogurt and some McGriddles.
It’s also introducing a lighter version of its Fruit & Walnut Salad.
The company is constantly tweaking and expanding its menu, changing up what it offers, where it offers it and how it offers it.
McDonald’s has been trying to reinvent itself amid increasing competition and its woes in China, a crucial market for the chain.
McDonald’s said the menu revamp is part of a larger plan to improve the quality of its food.