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    McDonald's to Begin Rollout of Packaging with Nutrition Information at Olympics

  • Industry News February 7, 2006
    McDonald's Corporation today launched the official global rollout of nutrition information on its product packaging in restaurants in the 2006 Olympic Winter Games host city, Torino. The 26 restaurants in the Torino area are the first McDonald's restaurants in the world to have the updated packaging for customers.

    "We listen closely to our customers and understand how important transparency is to them. That's why we're putting nutrition information right into their hands," said Mike Roberts, McDonald's President and Chief Operating Officer, who today unveiled the new packaging at a press conference in Torino. "Our ongoing efforts to provide menu choice and variety and be an advocate for physical activity are further demonstrated here today."

    McDonald's two official Olympic venue restaurants at the Main Press Center (MPC) and Torino Olympic Village, plus the 24 McDonald's restaurants located in and around Torino, feature nutrition information on food packaging. The new icon and bar chart format provides information on a menu item's nutrition value and how it relates to daily nutrient guidelines. The icons represent the five elements that experts agree are most relevant to consumer understanding of nutrition -- calories, protein, fat, carbohydrates and salt (sodium). McDonald's Europe will use the bar charts and icons exclusively, allowing for consistent packaging across Europe. In addition, the new packaging will include the nutrition reference values, called Guideline Daily Amounts (GDA), which for the first time have been calculated on a pan-European basis.

    Comprehensive and user-friendly background information to help familiarize customers with this new format and explain how they can apply it to their daily lives will be added to in-restaurant materials including brochures and trayliners and McDonald's websites. During the Games, unique kiosks will also be placed in select restaurants in Torino to help customers access personalized nutrition information using this new format.

    Nutrition information on packaging, which was announced by Chief Executive Officer Jim Skinner in October 2005, is a first for the quick-service industry and builds on McDonald's 30-year history of providing nutrition information to customers.

    "We are proud that the world's visitors to Torino, both spectators and athletes, will be the first to experience our new packaging with nutrition information," said McDonald's Italy Chairman Mario Resca. "It is now even easier for customers to see the variety of quality menu options we offer and how McDonald's can be a part of daily meal choices."

    Guideline Daily Amounts

    McDonald's Europe is the first in the restaurant industry to utilize GDA, nutrition reference values which have been established on a European level, and are based on guidelines recommended in European countries as well as by the World Health Organization. The GDA for key nutrients will be measured against a daily energy guideline of 2,000 kilocalories for adults. Those menu items which can be part of a Happy Meal, including the Hamburger, Cheeseburger, 4-piece Chicken McNuggets(R) and Small French Fries, will also have information that is based on a GDA of 1,600 kilocalories, an appropriate value for children ages 4 to 7.

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