Is McDonald's Real Fruit Smoothie, Real Deceptive?
Have you heard or seen the advertisements for McDonald's (my son likes to call 'it' McDeathal's) "REAL FRUIT" smoothie?
Let's start with a few of McDonald's Real Fruit Smoothie promotional images to set the stage...
Being curious, surprised and extremely leery of McDonald's products over the decades, I wanted to know is this advertised "Smoothie" made with actual "REAL FRUIT" or was this another deceptive use of meaning-less wording and an attempt at truthiness? Can it be that the MacDonald's marketing ad campaign is misrepresenting consumers ideas of "Real Fruit"?
SURPRISE #1- So one night I walked up to a drive through window (I wouldn't want to be caught alive inside ;-) and asked (they sent over the MOD (Manager On Duty)) about the smoothie... and they pulled out a big shinny sealed bag, and flopped it on the counter (see image of silver bag below) for me to check out!!! I said "WOW... is there any actual fruit in there" They said it was "mostly yogurt" and "some fruit." I asked in shock "that it, what about the real fruit you add in?" their reply "that's it"!!! The grin and raised eyebrows expression on thier face was priceless!
Based on the ingredients it's probably more correctly named Bag-of-Yuck!
SURPRISE #2 - OK, is it 'just my opinion' that it is a Bag-of-Yuck? Let's see what actually in the McDonald's "freshly blended" (trying to trick you with a reform of the word "fresh") "Real Fruit Smoothie" I was shocked to find out from the ingredients list that it has 0/ZERO!!!! REAL (unprocessed) fruit. There is not one item of fruit listed without a some extra wording. I would have guessed that they at least used frozen fruits!
SURPRISE #3 - A large smoothie - 330 calories w/ 70 grams of SUGAR!!! WHAT? 280 of the 330 CALORIES are from SUGAR... and mostly from simple and PROCESSED sugars!
Based on the ingredients (listed below) I do not think you would do yourself and/or our precious children any favors by having them drink the McDonald's' "real fruit" smoothies considering there is 0/ZERO "real fruit".
"demineralized" with concentrates along with GMO and artificial ingredients is now the new representative for "Real Fruit Smoothie"? O' did I forget the (sorry can't make it without it) addition of bovid puss from the milk, nutrient stripped sugars, artificial flavors (chemicals sourced or from crude oil or coal tar), whey protein, fructose, corn starch gelatin (cooked animal bones)...!!!
Could you imagine someone trying to tell you that by adding 'white sugar' and trying to get away with renaming the product "Real Vegetables* Juice"? *(processed/derived from cane or sugar beets
In this case we can easily agree with aware and educated consumers we've spoken with that say the "REAL" need to be next to the word DECEPTIVE!... or even retitled "REAL TERRIBLE Smoothie"!
Some have said - "It's a match made in Hell!" - Note the red 'glow' in the image (with no photo retouching except for adding our website name and the frame!)
Imagine what the ingredients were before it became a "Real Fruit Smoothie"
Below I have listed what is actually in a McDonald's "freshly blended' 'Real Fruit' smoothie: *Fruit Blend (Base), **Low Fat Yogurt, Ice
*Mango Pineapple Fruit Base:
Water, clarified demineralized pineapple juice concentrate, mango puree concentrate, pineapple juice concentrate, orange juice concentrate, pineapple puree, passion fruit juice, apple juice concentrate, natural (botanical source) and artificial flavor, contains less than 1% of the following: peach puree, cellulose powder, peach juice concentrate, pear juice concentrate, xanthan gum, pectin, citric acid, colored with fruit and vegetable juice and turmeric extract, ascorbic acid (preservative).
*Strawberry Banana Fruit Blend:
Strawberry Banana Fruit Blend: Strawberry puree, banana puree, water, sugar, concentrated apple juice, contains less than 1% of the following: cellulose powder, natural (botanical source) and artificial flavors, xanthan gum, citric acid, colored with fruit and vegetable juice, pectin, ascorbic acid (preservative). CONTAINS: MILK. *Dispensed from equipment that also dispenses milk ingredients (yogurt)
*Wild Berry Fruit Blend:
Strawberry puree, water, sugar, blackberry puree, blueberry puree, concentrated pineapple juice, concentrated apple juice, contains less than 1% of the following: cellulose powder, xanthan gum, colored with fruit and vegetable juice, natural (botanical source) and artificial flavors, pectin, citric acid. CONTAINS: MILK *Dispensed from equipment that also dispenses milk ingredients (yogurt)
**Low Fat Yogurt: Cultured Grade A reduced fat milk, sugar, whey protein concentrate, fructose, corn starch, gelatin. Contains active yogurt cultures. CONTAINS: MILK
"artificial flavor" seems harmless right? Guess again!
As of the writing of this article we don't know what the SECRET ingredients are in the "artificial flavors" But as an example here is a list of ingredient for 'strawberry flavoring' in one popular fast food outlet's strawberry milk shake.1
SHOCKING... Ingredient list for 'strawberry flavoring'!
Cognac essential oil
Lemon essential oil
Methyl heptine carbonate
Methyl naphthyl ketone
Mint essential oil
Neroli essential oil
Before you think that's the only place things can be hidden... Guess again! Here is what's in the "milk" part of the a so-called milk shake2
Milkfat and nonfat milk
High-fructose corn syrup
Monoglycerides and diglycerides
Artificial strawberry flavor (see list above!)
So, what do you think?
Honest or Deceptive?
Creative or Manipulative?
Driven by Capitalistic Ideals or Healthy Consumer Ideals?... Comment below!
O'yeh, one last thing, did you catch the use of the word "fresh" in the description of "freshly blended"? Could it be another marketing TRICK... to make the consumer think the product has some affiliation with something that is actually FRESH???
A few quotes we found around the internet about McDonalds "Real Fruit" smoothie:
“This is a product McDonald’s has never had before, but the response has been off the charts,” Kurt Holloway, a Houston franchise owner.
“There is a common thread here, that being the importance of our youth, which is one of our most valuable assets,” Holloway said. Most of already have learned how McDonald's markets to (targets) thier "valuable assets" (http://rollingout.com/cities-events/mcdonald%E2%80%99s-hits-the-road-to-celebrate-real-moments-real-fruit-mccafe)
"McDonald's thinks people are stupid." Michelle @Radiant Brown Beauty
"I won't let them convince me they are real fruit tho." LaNeshe
1. Chek, Paul, excerpted from the CD/Workbook Program: You Are What You Eat! at www.chekinstitute.com.
2. The New York Nerd: Eat Fast, Die Young, April 24, 2006, at www.nynerd.com