6 reasons to be excited about McDonald’s new chocolate milk … whether you’re a parent, a kid or just a kid at heart.

March 10, 2020


At McDonald’s we’re customer obsessed and proud to exceed expectations at every visit.

That means we never stop working to make our food more delicious. And most importantly, it means we create feel-good moments for customers. Especially, when it comes our youngest guests and our Happy Meal menu of choices.

So, when we heard we were rolling out a brand new chocolate milk recipe for our Happy Meals, we wanted the lowdown. 

Our Chief Nutritionist at McDonald’s USA, Dr. Cindy Goody, gave us the details. Dr. Goody, who oversees McDonald’s U.S. food allergen, ingredients and nutrition strategies, is beyond excited about the new reduced sugar low fat chocolate milk. Here’s why she’d happily encourage her 9-year-old daughter to choose this chocolate milk… or any McDonald’s Happy Meal items for that matter.

1. It tastes delicious

Customers – adults and children—alike have told us they like the flavor of the new chocolate milk. It’s a fun loving way to enjoy low fat milk. If you prefer, we also offer low fat white milk.

2. We have replaced a portion of the added sugar used in our former product with monk fruit extract.

We know what you’re thinking. “What is monk fruit?” Monk fruit, also known as lo han guo, is a small round fruit grown in Southeast Asia. Monk fruit sweeteners are extracted by removing the seeds and skin, crushing the fruit and collecting the juice. This sweet but zero-calorie juice is often used in food and beverages to reduce calories without sacrificing sweetness. “Short answer:” Dr. Goody says, “It’s a wholesome approach to achieve a delicious taste without the downside of larger amounts of sugar.”

3. Our chocolate milk is an excellent source of calcium and a good source of both vitamin A and D.

“Simply put, all are wholesome nutrients for the body,” Dr. Goody said.

Happy Meal

 4. This new recipe contains 25% less sugar compared to the previous chocolate milk served in McDonald’s restaurants..

We know that customers are concerned with the amount of sugar they’re consuming. “Chocolate milk has long been one of our customers favorite options, so we challenged ourselves to offer a new formulation of the product our customers loved, with less sugar,” Dr. Goody said. Compared to the previous chocolate milk served in McDonald’s restaurants, the new recipe has 25% less sugar and has changed from a fat free to a low fat milk. 

5. We’re pushing boundaries with this new recipe.

We don’t like to get competitive, but the facts are facts. Our chocolate milk has 15g of sugar while the average is 23g of sugar at leading Quick Service Restaurants. We hope to lead the charge and pave the way for similar changes elsewhere on the McDonald’s menu. 

6. This recipe change is delivering on our Global Happy Meal Goals. 

This menu item reintroduction continues the evolution of McDonald’s Happy Meal menu, as we add and reformulate items containing recommended food groups. As part of McDonald’s Global Happy Meal Goals announced in 2018, the company announced that chocolate milk would be reformulated to reduce the amount of added sugar. At the time, McDonald’s USA made a number of menu changes to accelerate compliance with the company’s newly introduced Global Nutrition Criteria. Since 2013, McDonald’s USA has served more than 3.4 billion fruit, low fat dairy and water items in U.S. Happy Meals. As of June 2018, 100 percent of the meal combinations offered on Happy Meal menu boards in the U.S. are 600 calories or less. Additionally, 100 percent of those meal combinations are compliant with the new nutrition criteria for calories, added sugar, and saturated fat, and 78 percent compliant with the sodium criteria.

Apple Slices

At the end of the day, Dr. Goody says you can feel really good about bringing your family to McDonald’s for this simple reason:


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