McDonald’s is stepping up efforts to dispel perceptions that it sells unhealthy food and drink with the introduction of a fizzy fruit drink that it will promote as containing one of a child’s five fruit and vegetable portions a day.
Fruitizz is a 60% fruit juice drink that the fast-food chain claims “delivers nutritional benefit as well as an exciting taste”. It combines raspberry, grape and apple juice with natural sparkling water and contains no added sugar or artificial colourings or flavourings.
The drink will be dispensed into branded cups through the same drinks fountain as Coca-Cola and other fizzy drinks in the restaurant as a way to make it more appealing to children than other fruit juices it currently offers in bottles, such as Tropicana.
McDonald’s claims that it tested 80 different formulations in a three-year development period.
Jo Webster, head of family marketing at McDonald’s UK, says: “It is so important to us that our products are loved by kids and appreciated by mums and dads. We have taken a long time to ensure we get Fruitizz right, but we’re thrilled with the results. Trials show that three quarters of people who bought Fruitizz would buy it again.
Along with introducing fruit bags and carrot sticks, Fruitizz is another example of how we are evolving the McDonald’s menu, and we will continue to keep in step with what parents are looking for.”
McDonald’s has come under-fire from public health campaigners for marketing “junk food” to children. However, the Children’s Food Campaign, an anti-obesity body that has been critical of chain in the past, welcomed the introduction of the drink.
Malcolm Clark, coordinator of the campaign, says: “It’s encouraging to see companies like McDonalds making it easier for parents to make healthier choices for children. The best choice for health is fruit drinks and it would be good to see these replace sugary drinks in restaurants like McDonald’s.”
The drink will be available in all 1,200 McDonald’s UK stores from 16 May following a trial in a number of stores in Wales where it was available as Fanta Fruitizz.
It will be backed by a TV, print and digital campaign, created by Leo Burnett.
In McDonald’s A-Z advertising campaign last year, ‘O’ was highlighted for ‘one of your five a day’ as provided by its portions of apple slices and carrot sticks in Happy Meals.
McDonald’s is currently giving away millions of activity toys and vouchers for sports as part of a Happy Meals Olympic promotion.