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McDonald’s Launches Free Fruit Giveaways Across Europe

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McDonald’s Launches Free Fruit Giveaways Across Europe

McDonald’s Launches Free Fruit Giveaways Across Europe
March 11
13:04 2014

McDonald’s has announced the launch of a campaign to give away free fruit across Europe – a major step in delivering on the company’s global commitment to increase access to fruit and vegetables and to make these items a fun and appealing choice for children. All McDonald’s European markets already offer fruit menu items but this is the first time a pan-European campaign has been launched to give away these items for free across 19 countries.

Building on the success of a major initiative inFrance, the campaign kicked-off on 7 March in the UK with “Free Fruit Fridays” and will be followed by the launch of “Fruchtiger Mittwoch” (Fruity Wednesday) in Germany on 2 April. The free fruit promotion is set to cover up to 84 per cent of all McDonald’s restaurants in Europe during the year. Children will be offered free fruit as part of their Happy Meal, typically once a month.

Pierre Woreczek, senior vice president, chief brand & strategy officer at McDonald’s Europe, says: “Parents tell us that it can be a challenge to get children to eat fruit and vegetables so we want to help to make fruit more accessible, affordable and appealing. One of the most powerful things we can do at McDonald’s is to make eating fruit and veg fun, for example, by using our brand and licensed characters on packaging. We also try to present fruit creatively – for example, kiwi on stick – which makes it easier and more exciting for kids to eat and hold. All our restaurants already offer fruit or vegetables and many have done this for over a decade so this campaign just takes our commitment one step further.”

In September 2013, McDonald’s announced a global commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative in partnership with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, pledging to increase customers’ access to fruit and vegetables and a wider choice of drinks, to increase awareness of the availability of these menu items and to help families and children to make informed choices in keeping with balanced lifestyles.

The pan-European campaign follows the success of the French campaign, “Mercredis à Croquer” (Crunchy Wednesdays), which has been running since 2010 and has seen free fruit offered with every Happy Meal sold on the first Wednesday of the month. In all, almost 10 million packs of fruit have been given away and between 2010 and 2013, total fruit offered and sold with Happy Meals in France increased by 58%. In France today, McDonald’s is the restaurant where children eat the most fruit. More than half of the fruit consumed by children between 3 – 8 years old in the French restaurant industry is eaten at McDonald’s.

Free fruit giveaways have also been previously trialled in McDonald’s Portugal, McDonald’s Italy and McDonald’s Malta. In Portugal for example, more than 650,000 portions of fruit have been given away since 2012.

Fruit consumption at McDonald’s has been steadily increasing. For example, in five major marketsv, 34% of all children’s fruit servings in informal restaurants are consumed at McDonald’s.

The type of fruit given away as part of this campaign will vary by country and seasonality. For example, the Baltics are planning to give away free whole apples, while Russia is aiming to provide a mix of apple slices and grapes. The UK will offer free apple slices and grapes bags to start with, before a planned move to pineapple sticks over the summer.

McDonald’s is Europe’s leading food service retailer with more than 7,600 restaurants in 38 markets serving over 15 million customers a day. 73% of McDonald’s restaurants in Europe are owned and operated by independent local business men and women.

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