In 2014, we achieved an increase of 30% over our 2012 baseline. The company's progress in 2015 was not as strong due to the removal of several key qualifying items, primarily the English Muffin made with whole grains and the whole grain bun served on select sandwich items in our U.S. market. These changes were influenced by our ongoing desire to meet consumer expectations by bringing back original recipe ingredients that made our core menu items a staple for McDonald’s customers. Due to the fact that measurement of this goal is based on unit sales, these changes in our largest market had a significant impact on overall progress toward this goal. As a result, our cumulative increase as of the end of 2015 is 6%.
We continue to make headway in the area of children's meals. McDonald's and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation announced a partnership in 2013 to support our global food goal which aims to increase families’ access to fruit, vegetables and low-fat dairy, especially in Happy Meals, for markets covered under the commitment.
As noted in our 2015 Progress Report, which will be released later this year by Keybridge, a public policy economics firm, actions taken in several participating markets have led to the following:
Since 2014, McDonald’s has added more than 10 multiple new fruit, vegetable, low-fat dairy [or water] options to its Happy Meal menu in various markets, including cherry tomatoes, grapes, melons and clementines as side choices with the Happy Meal.
The trend of families increasingly choosing milk, water and juice when dining at McDonald’s restaurants has accelerated in response to the company’s commitment to remove soft drinks from its Happy Meal menu board selection.
We will continue to explore balanced options across our menu and will continue to seek ways to offer great tasting food with the nutrition characteristics and ingredients our customers care about.