McDonald's made bubblegum flavoured broccoli to get kids to eat healthier

Joe Hall
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Not lovin' it: Kids were left "confused" by bubblegum broccoli taste (Source: Getty)
How to get children hooked on healthy food?
McDonald’s attempted to solve that conundrum by making it taste like unhealthy food.
The company's chief executive, Don Thompson, has been quoted as admitting that the restaurant tried to get kids to eat healthier by designing broccoli that tasted like bubblegum.
According to reports from Business Insider, Thompson told an audience last week that alongside more conventional measures such as reducing the size of fries portions, the fast food conglomerate attempted to sweeten the savoury in the vegtable.
Unsurprisingly, it didn’t work. Instead, Thompson said that kids were confused by the abnormal taste.
McDonald’s is this year celebrating 40 years on British high streets, however it has also been criticised by academic research that alleges its advertising fails to encourage children to choose healthier options.
UK adverts for children’s Happy Meals feature carrot and apple options in place french fries due to Ofcom rules which prevent foods high in fat, sugar and salt being advertised directly to children.
However according to a study from Dr. Emma Boyland from Liverpool University, the adverts still leave children with a preference for calorific content.
Bubblegum broccoli may seem particularly strange, however paltry profits in recent months are instigating a drastic revamp of McDonald's company strategy in a number of areas.
In the three months to September 30, revenues fell five per cent to $6.98bn (£3.8bn), global like-for-like sales dropped 3.3 per cent, while consolidated operating income plummeted 14 per cent.
In response, Thompson said McDonald's was “taking decisive action to fundamentally change the way we approach our business.” That includes an overhaul of the menu and customer experience to bring it “in-tune with today’s consumer’s needs.”
Thompson said:
In our international markets, we are taking action to restore customer trust and regain business momentum.
We understand the depth of the challenges and we are responding with the sense of urgency required to improve our performance.

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