Currently, there are 14,350 McDonald’s restaurants in the United States, selling 100 plus different menu items. Because of that, making even small changes to the company’s supply chain will create major challenges.
In the past several years, more and more people have become health conscious and because many of the items on the McDonald’s menu are deemed unhealthy, sales have declined. Facing this dilemma, the company’s chief executive resigned in January. In his place, the new CEO, Steve Easterbrook, has vowed to do whatever it takes to provide consumers with “clean food”.
To accommodate, McDonalds plans to make changes to some of its menu items. For instance, instead of serving chicken raised on antibiotics, that goal is to use birds that have not been subjected to antibiotic treatment.
According to a report released yesterday, the first change will be with chicken but in addition, McDonald’s will serve low-fat milk that comes from cows not treated with artificial growth hormones.
Although the upcoming changes are based on reduced sales and vision of a new CEO, there is also the aspect of competition. After all, many competitors have changed their menus, making food choices healthier. As an example, Chipotle offers meat that is antibiotic free.
McDonald’s strongly believes that making changes to incorporate clean food as part of the menu will help boost slumping sales see in the United States but also in foreign countries. In the Middle East and Asia, sales dropped 1.5%, a worse hit than predicted by analysts.
Although McDonalds tried to entice customers with a simpler menu and pricey coffees, it has become apparent that more drastic steps are needed to really make a difference. According to a company spokesperson, it will take about two years for McDonald’s to switch from antibiotic to non-antibiotic chicken.
As stated, once everything is implemented, sick chickens will receive appropriate veterinary care and any given antibiotics will no longer be part of the food supply for the restaurant. However, chickens given ionophores, which are antibiotics used for humans will still be administered in order to ensure the health of chickens used.
There will be other changes to the McDonald’s menu although specifics have not yet been unveiled. Whether this includes salad wraps, fresh fruits and vegetables in Happy Meals, or some other change, Easterbrook hopes it will be enough to turn sales around.