Discover the new McDonald’s nutrition information
Making nutrition information more accessible and easier to understand, to help you make choices that suit you and your family’s needs.
McDonald’s has a long history of making nutrition information available to its customers. In 2006 we became the first restaurant chain to roll-out a nutrition information system on our packaging that was science based, consumer inspired and stakeholder endorsed. Today we are evolving the system to reflect new European legislation while making sure it remains relevant, simple and easily interpreted.
So what’s new?
The new European legislation comes into effect from 13th December 2014, so we have taken this opportunity to ask our customers how they want to receive nutrition information, and reacted accordingly
Although we are not obliged by law to do so, we choose to continue to provide easy access to nutritional information in a clear and simple way that works for you.
At McDonald’s, our ambition is to pass on this information in an easy and understandable manner.
To achieve this, we conducted consumer research across different European countries to evaluate the best way to provide nutrition information and establish what it should look like. We tested several options, and chose the approach that consumers told us was the easiest to understand.
What does the new nutrition information system look like?
Where will the new information be available?
The nutritional information will continue to be clearly visible on the packaging of all McDonald’s permanent food items. Furthermore, QR codes on the packaging may be scanned with your Smartphone and will drive you directly to the relevant nutritional information online.
Our website also contains nutritional information for practically all menu items and, because there is more space, you can access information on other nutrients such as carbohydrates, fibre and proteins.
Why is the energy information in kcal and kJ?
Kilocalories and Kilojoules are both units of energy. The food we eat provides our body with energy and both Kilocalorie and Kilojoules are alternative ways of measuring the energy contained in food.
Kilocalories, most often referred to as calories, are abbreviated to kcal and kilojoules are abbreviated to kJ. They both measure the same thing. One kilocalorie is equivalent to 4.2 kilojoules.
This is just the same as a person talking about their height. You could say you are 5 feet 10 inches tall, or you could say 177cm. They both mean the same thing – one isn’t taller than the other.
The new European legislation states that wherever energy values are displayed, values must now be shown in both kcal and kJ.
Why do you no longer use GDAs (Guideline Daily Amount) but talk about Reference Intakes or RI instead?
The new legislation requires us to use Reference Intake, or RI instead of GDA. While the name is different, it represents exactly the same thing.
The European law has determined a new, single set of Reference Intakes (RIs) for all food and beverage companies in the EU, based on an adult, e.g. 2,000kcal or 8,400kJ. This is only an average and the amount of energy you need, can vary depending on age, gender and levels of physical activity. Traditionally, men would have a higher RI than woman.
Why are there no more reference intakes (ex-GDAs) on children’s products?
In the past, we have been one of the only companies to provide GDAs for our younger customers providing children’s GDA values (or from now on RI – Reference Intakes) for all items sold in Happy Meals e.g. Hamburgers, Cheeseburgers, 4 Chicken McNuggets. Unfortunately the new EU legislation does not define RI values for children, so children’s GDAs require to be removed. Children’s GDAs will be replaced with the average RI set in the legislation.
Why is there no more Reference Intake on fibre?
The new regulations do not include Reference Intakes for this nutrient. However, consumers are encouraged to consume fibre through a broader diet that includes fruits, vegetables and whole-grain products.