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Thu 6th Mar 2014 - Breaking News - McDonald’s UK introduces free fruit on Fridays
McDonald’s UK introduces free fruit on Fridays: McDonald’s UK is introducing ‘Free Fruit Fridays’ to help children on their way to 5-a-day on the first Friday of each month. On ‘Free Fruit Fridays’, McDonald’s will be boosting its healthy eating credentials by handing out a free fruit bag with every Happy Meal purchased. McDonald’s, which was the first UK restaurant to offer fruit bags over ten years ago, has seen a decline in numbers of fruit bags sold in recent years. ‘Free Fruit Fridays’ is a long-term campaign which the company hopes will encourage millions of children to eat and enjoy 5-a-day. It is estimated the free fruit bag, will account for more than half (52%) of all children’s fruit bags sold in the UK on that day. The launch of the campaign comes as official government figures reveal that people are finding it harder than ever to eat their recommended five daily portions of fruit and vegetables. According to the latest National Diet and Nutrition Survey, less than one third of adults and around one in ten older children meet the 5-a-day recommendation. A new survey of 2000 parents has found that just one in ten children are eating the recommended 5-a-day, despite 60% of mums and dads being aware that children should have at least five portions of fruit and veg each day. The parents, who were also asked what the three biggest challenges to getting their child to eat fruit and vegetables were, cited finding affordable seasonal fruit and vegetables, making eating fruit and vegetables fun and enjoyable, and getting their children into good habits at an early age as the biggest barriers. The launch of Free Fruit Friday follows a similar campaign run by McDonald’s in France which launched in 2010: ‘Crunchy Wednesdays’, as it is known, is supported by the French Association of Ambulatory Pediatrics (AFPA) and, whilst overall purchases of fruit in France were declining by 5%, McDonald’s saw a 19% increase in Happy Meal fruit orders outside of Crunchy Wednesdays according to official figures (between October 2011 and April 2012). In France today, McDonald’s has become the number one restaurant where kids eat the most fruit. More than half of the fruit consumed by kids aged between three to eight years old in the French restaurant industry is eaten at McDonald’s. The first free fruit bag on offer from McDonald’s UK will be apple and grape and by the end of 2014, McDonald’s expects to have handed out the equivalent of more than 3.5 million apples and over 23 million grapes free of charge to Happy Meal customers. The free fruit bag will be available after 10.30am. In the US, McDonald’s will provide fruit or vegetables with every Happy Neal as of next month. Apple slices will now be included alongside burgers, chicken nuggets, fizzy drinks, and a small helping of chips Portions of fries will also be reduced in an attempt to make parents feel less guilty about bringing their children to a fast food restaurant.
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