Is McDonald’s changing its strategy? The fast food chain says it will add kale to its menu. Photo: Thinkstock
McDonald’s is planning to add kale to its menu this year, according to analysts at Janney Capital Markets.
The leafy green vegetable could be used in salads or smoothies, says analyst Mark Kalinowski, citing an unnamed source.
The addition of kale would come as a surprise, considering McDonald’s anti-kale sentiment in an ad that the company released earlier this year.
The ad shows close-up shots of a Big Mac and pokes fun at foodies and vegetarians.
McDonald’s recently advertised a strong anti-kale stance. Photo: McDonald’s.
"You can’t get juiciness like this from soy or quinoa," the ad’s narrator chides. "Nor will this ever be kale," he adds as the camera zooms in on the lettuce in a Big Mac sandwich.
McDonald’s didn’t confirm or deny the news.
"As we continue to listen to our customers, we’re always looking at new and different ingredients that they may enjoy," McDonald’s spokeswoman Lisa McComb told Business Insider.
McDonald’s is reportedly adding kale as the company struggles to improve consumers’ perception of its food.
"Adding kale to the menu in some way could help be a step in this direction," Kalinowski writes.
Kale consumption in the U.S. has skyrocketed in recent years.
The number of farms harvesting the leafy green plant more than doubled from 954 in 2007 to 2,500 in 2012, according to Department of Agriculture data. By comparison, the number of farms harvesting spinach and romaine lettuce in 2012 was 1,594 and 1,537, respectively.
The vegetable started gaining popularity in the U.S. about five years ago. It now appears on 400% more restaurant menus than it did five years ago, according to USA Today.
But it’s an odd choice for McDonald’s, which built its business on Big Macs and french fries. It also goes against the company’s recent efforts to pare down the menu items to speed up customer service.
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