McDonald's is the world's largest fast food restaurant chain, serving an estimated 68 million customers daily in 119 countries. It was founded in 1940 by Richard and Maurice McDonald, who pioneered the idea of operating a hamburger business using production line principles.
McDonald's to offer more healthy choices to value menu customers
McClatchy Tribune in Chicago
McDonald's says it will offer value menu customers a side order of salad, fruit or vegetables as an alternative to French fries. However, some analysts have attributed the move to an attempt to boost static sales.
The arrangement will be set in motion in the fast food giant's 20 top markets, including China. The company also said it would promote and market only water, milk and juice as the beverage for children's Happy Meals, while also trying to heighten kids' interest in produce options. They will start within three years and be effective in all 20 markets by 2020.
Additionally, the chain said it would ensure that all of its advertising directed at children would include a message about nutrition or well-being.
Some analysts, such as Nick Setyan of Wedbush Securities, said McDonald's was trying to reverse ongoing weakness in sales by tapping into an increasingly health-conscious mindset among its customers, particularly women and mothers.
It's the same desire tapped last week by Burger King, which launched a low-fat, crinkle-cut French fry called "Satisfries".
"They're trying to tweak the menu to try to be more in line with ongoing trends," Setyan said.
"If anything, McDonald's is a little late to the game."