RIP Happy Meal Cheeseburger: Why McDonalds Is Getting Rid of a Kids’ Menu Mainstay
Your McDonald’s Happy Meal is about to look a little different.
The fast food giant announced a series of changes to its Happy Meal menu Thursday, as part of a broader plan to provide healthier options for children. Cheeseburgers will no longer be a menu option, and french fry servings will be downsized. Bottled water will be added as a beverage option, while the chocolate milk will be reformulated to reduce added sugars.
The move comes as the first step in a commitment to limiting calories, sodium, saturated fat, and added sugar in its Happy Meals. By the end of 2022, McDonald’s (MCD) wants at least half of its Happy Meal options to meet the new nutrition criteria: 600 calories or less; no more than 10% of calories from saturated fat; less than 650 mg of sodium; and no more than 10% of calories from added sugar.
Today, 28% of its Happy Meal combinations meet this criteria in 20 major markets across the world. McDonald’s U.S. will hit the calorie, sugar, and fat goals, and be 78% compliant on sodium by June of this year, reports Reuters.
Cheeseburger enthusiasts need not fear, however: the Happy Meal cheeseburger will in fact still be available, but by request only. The chain hopes that removing unhealthy items from the menu will nudge diners to change their consumption habits.