Nutritive and WholeSome Offerings by McDonalds

Experience the goodness of McDonald’s wholesome food at a restaurant near you!

HardCastle’s Restaurants Pvt Ltd, HRPL, journey has been has been exciting and now is a a very interesting phase in India with innovations and digital plans. The master franchisee for McDonald’s restaurants in west and south India, announced ‘The Good Food Story’ to reinforce its commitment towards promoting nutritive and wholesome food.

McDonald’s has been serving the Indian palate for the last 22 years. Over the years, it has developed an indigenous menu completely unique to India. The brand has always been cognizant of Indian sensibilities. It has kept its vegetarian kitchen separate from the non- vegetarian kitchen. The company also does not serve pork and beef in any of its restaurants in India.

Commenting on this initiative by Hardcastle Restaurants Pvt Ltd Dr JS Pai, Executive Director, Protein Foods & Nutrition Development Association of India said, “The overall lifestyle of Indians is changing as many of them are leading a sedentary life with very little physical activity. This may cause obesity and deficiency of essential nutrients. It is a good step that restaurants are now offering food choices with better nutritional profile which are richer in protein and dietary fibre as well as lower in fat and sodium. This along with nutritional awareness will go a long way in ensuring a healthy lifestyle.”

McDonald’s strength lies in its ability to continuously evolve and remain relevant to its consumers. The Good Food Story is one such journey that the company has undertaken to bring nutritious and wholesome food to them.

The food giant has developed a menu that offers a wide array of choices to suit different preferences. There is a range of high protein products that have paneer, chicken, egg and fish. McDonald’s is the only restaurant chain in the Quick Service Restaurant space in India that has a special breakfast menu. The Sausage & Egg McMuffin, Egg & Cheese McMuffin and Scrambled Eggs to give just the right start to the day.

Outside of the signature burgers and fries, the company has launched Chatpata Naan- a truly Indian delicacy with an international form. With the recent launch of rice having the goodness of bulgar, basmati rice and fresh vegetables in select markets, McDonald’s has ensured there is something for everyone. The menu also offers a plethora of sides and desserts to complete a meal. Through McCafé, it offers a range of over 30 cold and hot dairy and fruit based beverages.

Amit Jatia, Vice-Chairman of Westlife Development Limited, said, “Our customers are increasingly adopting healthier lifestyles and trust brands that behave responsibly and transparently, especially when it comes to food options. Our goal has always been to build a better McDonald’s by making little changes that add up to a big difference. All modifications in ‘The Good Food Story’ have been a result of over three years of persistent re-engineering of our products just so that we could offer more wholesome and balanced food choices to our customers at a great value.”

This part of the company’s Good Food journey is what customer will be able to see in stores. But there is another path that the company has taken to ensure nothing but the best is served to its consumers.

· Sodium across fries, nuggets, patties and sauces has been reduced by over 20%. Limiting sodium intake is good for health

· Oil content in mayonnaise has been reduced by 40%, making it the first ever low-fat mayo in the Indian Quick Service Restaurant industry. This has brought down fat content by up to 25% in its products resulting in calorie reduction by up to 11%

The result of these changes has been that the iconic McAloo Tikki Burger is now a balanced meal, in that it has the right balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat as recommended in the guidelines issued by the National Institution of Nutrition or NIN
•The other flagship product McVeggie Burger too, has the right balance of carbs and proteins. The patty has goodness of five vegetables

· McDonald’s patties are 100% artificial preservative-free. While the patties never had artificial colour and flavour, they are now completely free of any artificial preservatives

· The patties have been fortified with natural dietary fibre to make them wholesome. This also helps reduce oil absorption. The dietary fibre content in our flagship patties has gone up by as much as 20-25%
•All wraps are now whole grain. Refined flour wraps have been replaced with whole grain wraps to increase their nutritional value
•Soft Serve is made of 100% milk and is 96% fat-free. It nonetheless retains its richness and mouthfeel that is expected of it

Dr Nilesh Amritkar, Managing Director, Envirocare Labs Pvt. Ltd added that, “It is indeed good to know that fast foods can be health positive. I think this is a good effort and will have a positive impact on the food industry.”

Naaznin Husein, President, Mumbai Chapter of the Indian Dietetic Association (IDA) said, “Reducing salt and overall sodium content of the products are small yet significant steps initiated by McDonald’s. The effort taken to re-engineer their food towards a healthy shift is a good initiative. Using technology innovations to reduce overall fat content may be a sustainable solution towards responsible nutrition.

As Indians, majority of our population is protein-deficient. In the future, more concentration could also be placed on increasing protein in all products. The steamed egg is a great value-add. Healthier choices like wraps, steamed eggs and other such options should be added to the basket of products. Lastly but most importantly, portion control is important. Also, a takeaway message is that these foods are ’sometimes’ food and should not replace every day healthy balanced meals.”

For HRPL, nutrition and wholesomeness is not a ‘tick box’. The company has worked on products across the board to make them better. Food is like technology, ever evolving and McDonald’s promise is to keep changing and responding to its customers to give them the best experience. This by no means is the end, the company will continue this journey and come back with more of what its consumers want!

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