Our Work with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation
In September 2013, McDonald’s joined forces with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (“Healthier Generation”) in a global effort to increase customers’ access to fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and water options and to help families make informed choices. McDonald’s and Healthier Generation have worked together on five commitments related to menu offerings, menu boards, packaging, and advertising directed to children. McDonald’s pledged to implement these actions in 20 major markets by 2020.
Feature only water, milk and juice as the beverages on Happy Meal menu boards and ads directed to children.
Offer a side salad, fruit or vegetable option as a substitute for fries in value meals.
Offer a new fruit, vegetable, low-fat dairy or water option in the Happy Meal or use new packaging innovations to generate excitement for these options.
Dedicate one panel of Happy Meal boxes or bags to communicate a fun nutrition or children’s well-being message four times annually.
Include a fun nutrition or children’s well-being message in 100% of external ads directed to children.
In May 2019, McDonald’s and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation released a five-year progress report on McDonald's progress toward its 2013 global commitments to increase customers’ access to fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and water options. The report documents that a majority of McDonald’s 20 major markets* have met the 2013 commitments two years ahead of schedule, and the remaining markets are on track to achieve these by the 2020 deadline.
Global Progress Highlights:
- Across the 20 major markets, the percentage of Happy Meal customers served milk, water, or juice as their beverage choice increased 12 percentage points (from 36 percent to 48 percent) between September 2013 and September 2018.
- McDonald’s has served over 6.4 billion fruit, vegetable, low-fat dairy and water items in Happy Meals since September 2013 across the 20 major markets.
- McDonald’s has also increased the variety of balanced side options served in Happy Meals. In 2018, 161 fruit, vegetable, low-fat dairy and water options were offered in Happy Meals across the 20 major markets, including 43 new options that were added to menus after the commitments were announced in September 2013. Examples include the grape tomatoes in Australia, apple puree in Brazil, and heart-shaped carrots in Austria.
- Over 200 million value meal customers chose a fruit, vegetable or side salad option as a substitute for french fries since September 2013.
McDonald’s USA progress Highlights:
- McDonald’s USA reported a 15 percentage point increase (from 37 percent to 52 percent) in Happy Meals served with milk, water or juice between September 2013 and September 2018. With this shift, more than half of Happy Meals in the U.S. now include milk, water or juice as the beverage choice.
- In 2018 alone, over 250 million sides of apple slices were served in the U.S.
2018 Progress Report Links:
Download the Five Year Progress Report
Download the Five Year Progress Report Markets at-a-Glance
Download the Methodology & Glossary of Terms
2016 Progress Report Links:
View the Interactive 2016 Progress Report
Download the Progress Report (pdf, 2.5MB)
Download the Executive Summary (pdf, 0.2MB)
2014 Progress Report Links:
Download the Progress Report (pdf, 2.3MB)
Download the Executive Summary (pdf, 1MB)
The 20 participating major markets represent nearly 85 percent of McDonald’s System’s global sales, and include: U.S., Canada, Brazil, Argentina, U.K., France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Netherlands, Italy, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Taiwan, and Australia.