As we continue our adventure into DealsPlus blogging world, my fellow co-worker/partner in crime/blog wife/Natasha Romanoff to my Hawkeye are constantly trying to learn about the process of writing and creating fun pieces for DealsPlus. So when we had the opportunity to attend one of the biggest blogger event in our area, we just couldn’t resist.
As part of the blog conference agenda, there were multiple sponsored events and McDonald’s happened to be one of them. Curious about what McDonald’s had to say, I RSVPed us and turns out, they have a lot to reveal about their health initiative. No offense to anyone out there that are huge McDonald’s fans but they haven’t exactly had a good image when it comes to healthy eating. But good news, they’re working on it.
McDonald's BlogHer 2016 Conference (left to right): unknown, Chef Jessica Foust and SVP of North American Supply Chain, Marion Gross.
During the event, we had the opportunity to listen to 3 speakers from McDonald’s including one of the chef behind McDonald’s worldwide recipes, Chef Jessica Foust. Foust and Marion Gross (SVP of North American Supply Chain) went into details about the progress of their health initiative that starts with ingredients sourced from various farmers worldwide. They began this health initiative back in 2015 and in order for it to be successful, they had to make sure that farmers they work with would be willing to produce certain variations and supplies of crops in order for McDonald’s to launch their healthy menu nationwide.
Source: McDonald’s Event from BlogHer 2016 Conference (timeline of their progress)
Their most recent accomplishment include:
Menu items served with chickens not treated with any antibiotics or preservatives
No high fructose corn syrup buns across entire menu
No preservatives from breakfast pork sausage patty, omelet-style eggs and scrambled eggs on breakfast platters
Oh, and we had the chance to sample some of their stuff.
The health change came from consumers demands for more natural and affordable options on McDonald’s menu. In order to meet those demands, McDonald’s is working to keep a close eye on current and new suppliers but also working with the FDA to improve regulation on ingredients labeled as “all natural”. In changing the way the industry works right now, Gross talks about establishing a strong foundation with the current infrastructure to make ways to improve upon rather than change the entire industry.
Foust notes that they’re constantly trying new recipes and menu items but the process to launch across all McDonald’s is a long one and relies on majority of consumers feedback (i.e. why McDonald’s menu item varies from region to region). Foust also goes on to explain that McDonald’s is working on keeping up with seasonal trends so they can offer more variety on the menu and source quality ingredients when they’re in season.
For example, they introduced a new salad blend back in June 2016, which focuses on nutrition-based salads that includes colorful red leaf lettuce and carrots added to all McDonald’s menus nationwide.
In keeping up with seasonality, McDonald’s launched some Berry-tastic menu items back in May 2016 which includes a variety of smoothies, lemonades and yogurt parfaits. The strawberries were sourced from California, the largest suppliers of the nation’s strawberries and froze at peak ripeness to use across various McDonald’s locations.