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Patrons of the world's largest restaurant company will be able to learn the amount of calories and fat, among other information, in a McDonald's product by looking at the wrapper instead of having to go to its Web site or ask for it at the counter.
The fast-food industry has been under pressure from consumer groups and the government to provide more nutritional information about its food. McDonald's and others had previously made calorie count brochures available, resisting calls to do more.
In announcing the latest push to improve its image on health issues, McDonald's said it demonstrates its commitment to promoting balanced, active lifestyles. CEO Jim Skinner also said the move responds to demand by customers, not consumer groups.
"We've communicated with our customers for more than 30 years now about our food" ingredients, he said in an interview at the McDonald's flagship restaurant in downtown Chicago. "This was a way for us to close that loop and provide them with an easy way to understand the nutrition information in the food that they're eating."
The new packaging will be introduced in McDonald's restaurants in North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America starting in the first half of 2006. The Oak Brook, Ill.-based company said it expects to have the packaging available in more than 20,000 of its 30,000-plus restaurants worldwide by the end of the year.