McDonald's new labelling makes it easy to choose
For immediate use
29 February 2007
McDonald's new labelling makes it easy to choose good oil
McDonald’s has introduced a new symbol to the packaging of menu items cooked in oil to visually inform customers that some oils are better than others.
The new 'cooked in a canola blend' symbol signifies to customers that McDonald’s products including hashbrowns, fries, nuggets, fish and chicken burger patties and fruit pies are cooked in a blend of canola and sunflower oil which is virtually trans fat free and less than 10 per cent saturated fat.
“We are committed to educating customers and making it easy for them to know what's in their food,” says McDonald's Managing Director Mark Hawthorne.
"Many other oils used by the food industry contain around 50 per cent combined saturated and trans fats. We want to remind people that they have choices around where they buy their food. This symbol makes it easy for people to see what oil we use at McDonald's, so our customers can make informed decisions.
“Many of our menu items are already labeled with their nutritional content so it's a natural progression for us and provides even greater transparency around our food," says Mr Hawthorne.
McDonald’s switch to a canola oil blend has seen the removal of 727,000 kilograms of saturated fat from the diets of the company's New Zealand customers, and has reduced saturated fat levels in its oil by 83 per cent compared with 2004.
“We've made huge changes to our menu over the last five years with the introduction of lighter choices, but many people don't see that we've made huge improvements to our core food items too. The oil changes we have made cost our company about a million dollars each year, but the result is a significant improvement to the nutritional content of our core menu.
"McDonald's oil changes have removed 727,000 kilograms of saturated fat from New Zealand diets since 2004. We estimate however that our oil use only makes up about 5 per cent of the total oil used by the food service industry, so imagine the potential – it could mean millions of kilos of saturated fat removed from people's diets," says Mr Hawthorne.
“It is a mystery to us that more people aren't asking questions about the oil their favourite takeaway outlet is using - whether that's a branded restaurant like McDonald's or the local Asian takeaway or fish n' chip shop.
"It's time for an oil check. McDonald's is committed to making it easier for customers to be informed about the food they eat – it's time the rest of the industry was just as transparent. We believe that a similar labelling approach from the wider food industry could have a significant benefit on the health of New Zealanders."
McDonald’s is launching a new Take A Closer Look advertisement on Sunday to introduce customers to the canola blend symbol.