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UK: McDonald's introduces Free Fruit Fridays

Staff writer |
On the first Friday of each month, McDonald's will be handing out a free fruit bag with every Happy Meal purchased. This, it is estimated, will account for 52 percent of all children's fruit bags sold in the UK on that day.

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Official government data revealed 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 10 older children meet the 5-a-day recommendation.

In addition, a new survey of 2000 parents finds that just 10% of 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 has been inspired by a similar campaign run by McDonald's in France where the company is the number one restaurant where kids eat the most fruit. More than 50% of the fruit consumed by kids aged between 3 and 8 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.