In a bid to woo healthful consumers back through the golden arches, McDonald's will be nixing high-fructose corn syrup from its hamburger buns, and replacing it with sucrose -- and that's only the beginning.
On August 1, the company announced at a New York Times event that it will also be eliminating artificial preservatives from its most popular item, Chicken McNuggets, and some other breakfast foods, like scrambled eggs.
Whereas only years ago, McDonald’s was prone to eschewing questions about its ingredients, the company is now mindfully attempting to act more transparent with its fans. Per the Times, the new changes, combined with McDonald’s decision in 2015 to purchase chickens raised without antibiotics used to treat humans, affect nearly half of the fast-food chain’s menu.
"We’re following the customer," said Marion Gross, McDonald's supply chain senior vice president, according to Business Insider. "We know that they don’t feel good about high-fructose corn syrup...so we moved to a sweetener that customers feel good about.”
Added McDonald’s USA President Mike Andres: “This is only the beginning… I don't think this is ever going to be complete.”
Before, McDonald’s was more prone to defending its decision to use ingredients such as high-fructose corn syrup and artificial preservatives. However, consumers have long been demanding healthier options, and have started to gravitate toward establishments that promote freshness and quality over convenience.
McDonald’s performed in-depth, time-consuming trials in order to come up with new recipes that met its customers health and taste standards. The switch over from margarine to butter took approximately six months to perfect.
“You have to be careful with butter,” Jessica Foust, director of culinary innovation at McDonald’s, said at the Times event. “We’re really cooking with real ingredients.”
Regarding McDonald’s former ingredients, Andres added, “Why take a position to defend them if consumers are saying they don’t want them?”
“We’re going to continue to follow up and continue to inform customers -- we told you we were going to do this, and here’s where we are on that,” he said.
“We’re proud of the changes we’re making.”