Starting in November, McDonald’s Happy Meals will be a bit healthier thanks to a new apple juice that has less sugar and fewer calories. Previously, McDonald’s had been using juice boxes provided by Minute Maid, but now they’ll be switching to boxes made by Honest Kids, which is a part of Honest Tea. While a six-ounce Minute Maid juice box contains 80 calories and 19 grams of sugar, an Honest Kids Organic Appley Ever After box only has 35 calories and eight grams of sugar.
Minute Maid was previously the juice powerhouse in America, but its ranking has significantly declined over the last several years. In fact, sales of Minute Maid have dropped 18 percent over the last five years. At the same time, Honest Tea has grown significantly since the company was bought by Coca-Cola back in 2011. The company is expected to bring in $400 million in retail sales in 2017 and Honest Kid drinks have become the new staple of fast food juices. Since 2015, Wendy’s, Chick-fil-A, and Subway have all added Honest Kid juices to their menus. With the juice now being brought to the largest fast-food chain in the world, it seems that Honest Tea is officially the go-to juice in the world of fast food.
Why does this matter? Well, it’s estimated that eighty percent of Americans eat fast food at least once a month, so kids are going to be having fast food a lot growing up. And with this degree of exposure, whatever juice a kid has at McDonald’s or Wendy’s will slowly, but surely become what they believe juice is supposed to taste like. Having a healthier option could be huge in shaping a child’s long-term eating and drinking habits — and stave off those unanticipated sugar highs.