October 6, 2003
While many of us laughed off the obesity lawsuits brought against McDonald's (NYSE: MCD ) over the past year, it's clear they've had quite an effect on the world's No. 1 fast-food restaurant, as well as others in the industry.
First, Ronald's bunch began testing adult Happy Meals in Indiana that include a salad, a pedometer, and an exercise booklet. Today, the Chicago Tribune is reporting a rather dramatic and risky move from Mickey D's: revised Chicken McNuggets.
Over the next six weeks, all the company's restaurants will be serving nuggets made from 100% white meat that will be lower in calories and fat content. "It's clear now that consumers prefer white meat, so we started to work on how we might evolve the McNugget to a situation where it is now all white meat," the appropriately named Wendy Cook -- McDonald's vice president of menu innovation -- told the paper.
Why is it a risky move? The nuggets are one of the company's most popular items, and if the new concoction doesn't deliver the familiar taste and texture, it could harm sales. As Ms. Cook says, "Kid's don't like change. We don't want to disappoint any of our customers, especially our youngest customers."
Here's hoping consumers can stomach the new nuggets... as well as all the healthier innovations industry-wide.