McDonald's plans to introduce new 'clean-label' McNuggets
PORTLAND, Ore. - McDonald’s says they’re testing a new “cleaner-label” version of its long-standing menu favorite, the Chicken McNugget.
The revamped nugs, which contain 32 individual ingredients, are expected to roll out nationwide ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympics.
So far, the McNuggets have been tested since early March in 140 McDonald’s franchises in southwest Washington state and metro Portland in Oregon. The nugget recipe is said to contain ingredients the fast-food chain says are more recognizable to consumers, like “lemon juice solids” and “rice starch.”
The company will place the new “family friendly” main course in an improved Happy Meal that the chain says will be “made with a simpler recipe that parents can feel good about while keeping the same great taste they know and love.” One Portland franchise branded their Facebook page in support of the theme as they featured pictured of smiling children with adults sampling the new entree.
McDonald’s plans to roll out reworked packaging along with in-store and social media advertisements to place the spotlight firmly on everyone’s favorite fried bits of mechanically-separated poultry. The fact that the future McNuggets do not contain artificial colors or flavors will be touted, even though present day McNuggets already lack such ingredients.
A McDonald’s spokeswoman declined to confirm that the product is scheduled to roll out this summer on a national scale.
"This is very much a test,” Becca Hary said. The spokeswoman goes on to say customers in the Pacific Northwest test markets “have responded favorably” to the “clean-label” McNugs.
“More than ever, customers care about where their food comes from and how it is prepared.” Still, she said, “We're not making any announcement.”
Chicken McNuggets were launched in 1983, and the world has literally not been the same since. The product has long been a key element in McDonald’s Happy Meals, so the corporation hopes the move to the modified McNuggets will appease a generation of more discerning parental units.
In related McNugget news, the world record for McNugget speed eating is held by Canadian Jonathan C., who ate 40 Chicken McNuggets in two minutes, 16.80 seconds. Many nugget historians doubt the legitimacy of this record though because the Ontario speed eater dipped the McNuggets in water during the contest, offending the competitive nugget eating community as he eschewed the more commonly used BBQ sauce.