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McDonald's Restaurants Latin America Evolve Menu to Offer More Options

 McDonald’s restaurants in Latin America will reduce calorie levels in the Happy Meal to less than 1/3 of the daily recommended intake proposed by World Health Organization


Buenos Aires, Argentina, July 26th, 2011 – Arcos Dorados, responsible for the operation of the McDonald’s brand in 19 countries and territories in Latin America, announced today a number of menu items’ evolution, in benefit of the nutritional composition of food for children and adults, offered at the restaurants it operates throughout the region.


These developments will start to be implemented in the Latin American countries managed by Arcos Dorados from October 1st and are part of the constant menu evolution that the brand has been building on, in the past years, as well as a reinforcement of its commitment to a good quality of life.


This is a clear and firm demonstration of the high level of our evolving commitment with the welfare of our customers. Our company is committed to being at the forefront of the trends and preferences of society, and to do so, we want to be sure that we offer even more menu options that are aligned with a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Likewise, we will continue to support initiatives that promote physical activities,” said Woods Staton, President and CEO of Arcos Dorados.


New Happy Meal

The new version of the Happy Meal will now be composed of four items, with the addition of a serving of fresh fruit, which will change according to the season of the year.


All of the combinations of the four-item Happy Meal in Latin America will now have less than 600 calories, which equates to one third of the daily requirement for calories recommended by the WHO for children ages 6 to 10. For that, the company will implement a series of evolutions that will improve the nutritional profile of the Happy Meal:


A new size of French fries has been created exclusively for the Happy Meal, with an average of 100 calories, less than half of the previous calories amount.


McDonald’s restaurants in Latin America have also reduced the amount of sodium by an average of 10% in the buns, in the McNuggets, in the cheese and in the ketchup, improving the nutritional profile of the three Happy Meal options: Hamburger, Cheeseburger and McNuggets.


In addition, the amount of sugar added to the fruit juices will be reduced by almost 40%, reaching no more than 5gr of added sugar per 100ml.


With all of these innovations, the menu will have an enhanced nutritional composition, which is even more adequate to children: more vitamins and more fiber, with less sodium, less sugar and fewer calories, while maintaining the same great taste of McDonald’s menu items.


We are very glad to learn about the reformulation of McDonald's / Arcos Dorados products in regards to the reduction of salt, sugar and calories per portion, and the increase of the use of fruits and vegetables in the children's menus. The changes just announced certainly seem to be going in the right direction", said James Hospedales, Senior Advisor of the Panamerican Health Organization’s Department of Control and Prevention of Chronical Diseases.


With all that, the Happy Meal will now be offered in the McDonald’s restaurants in Latin America in various combinations of four menu items, which the customers can decide for according to their preferences: a main item (Hamburger, Cheeseburger and McNuggets), a side (French fries or, in certain markets, another option of local vegetable), a drink (fruit juice of soda with or without calories), and a portion of seasonal fruit.


Adult Menu

Likewise, the other regular Combos will offer a new salad as an option for the side dish of sandwiches and beverages. The new side salad, that will have less than 10 calories without the dressing, will be a mix of green leaves and tomatoes. This will represent a reduction in the total of calories of an Extra Value Meal, compared to the choice of fries as the side option.


With sodium reduction in all its core sandwich buns, the cheese and the ketchup, McDonald’s is also reducing the amount of sodium in all its sandwiches on the core menu (including the Big Mac, the Quarter Pounder, the Hamburger, the Cheeseburger and the line of chicken sandwiches).


To assure that the menu items will keep the same delicious taste characteristics, the McDonald’s restaurants in Latin America have dedicated two years to research, with the support of its suppliers and, during 2011, has tested and validated this nutritional improvement with customers.



The Happy Meal continues to be offered in Latin America in different combinations of menu items, and customers will now be able to choose four favorite items among: three options of entrees (Hamburger, Cheeseburger or McNuggets); two options of side dishes – French fries or a vegetable – sparkling water, fruit juice or soft drink with or without calories; and a serving of fresh fruit.


The regular Combos of the menu also continue to be offered in different versions of three items. Starting in October, besides the entrée item, Combos will have two options of side dish (French fries and the new side salad) and several beverage options.


Constant menu evolution is part of the job at McDonald's restaurants in Latin America. These enhancements are a continuation that builds upon some of the other important changes incorporated over the years:


  • First salads introduced in 2002
  • Launch of Yoghurt with cereals in 2005
  • Launch of options of vegetables in the Happy Meal since 2006
  • Evolution in the McNuggets to 100% all-white chicken meat in 2007 and the elimination, that same year, of trans fat in our cooking processes.

About Arcos Dorados:
Arcos Dorados is McDonald’s the biggest franchise in the world, in terms of sales compared to the whole system and in number of restaurants. The Company is the largest chain of fast-food restaurants in Latin America and the Caribbean, with stores in 19 countries and territories. For further information, please go to

Media Contacts: 

Flavia Vigio



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