Starting Friday all local McDonald's in the Smyrna-Vinings Patch will become some of the first in the U.S. to sell a brand new Happy Meal featuring apple slices and a kid's size fry in every box, according to Greater Atlanta McDonald's spokesman Jonathan Carl.
To mark the occasion, all area McDonald's restaurants will offer a "Happy Meal Happy Hour" event from 2-7 p.m. every day from Friday, Sept. 16 through Thursday, Sept. 22, featuring a buy one, get one free deal on all Happy Meals and Mighty Kids Meals.
By the first quarter of 2012, McDonald's plans to include Apple Slices (apple slices, ¼ cup or ½ serving) as a standard side to the choice of Chicken McNuggets®, a Hamburger, or Cheeseburger, and choice of beverage, in which fat-free chocolate milk and 1% white milk will be options.
In addition to Apple Slices, the meal also will include a new smaller size French Fries (1.1 ounces). For those customers who prefer a side choice of apples only, two bags of apples will be available upon request.
By adding fruit in every Happy Meal, McDonald’s hopes to address a challenge children face in meeting the recommended daily consumption of produce. McDonald’s has been offering apples as a requested Happy Meal choice since 2004, and while recent research found that 88 percent of McDonald’s customers are aware of the option, only 11 percent choose apples.
“As the dad of a young daughter, I know that helping kids make good nutrition choices can be challenging,” said Donavon Groen, president of the Greater Atlanta McDonald’s Operator’s Association.
“With the new Happy Meal, we’re helping support parents in encouraging their children to enjoy food that is good for them along with the foods they love by automatically including both apples and fries as part of a balanced, kid-appropriate meal," Groen said. "We’re excited this new offering will introduce about 100 million cups of produce annually into the diets of our youngest customers.”