McDonalds New Zealand announced last week its intention to increase nutritional labeling with percentage daily intake (%DI), following a similar announcement by McDonalds Australia.
From October packaging labelled with Percentage Daily Intake will be set against an average adult diet of 8700kJ as determined by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) and will advise consumers about required daily amounts of protein, fats, saturated fats, carbohydrates, sugar and sodium.
"From next month we will be introducing %DI on our packaging so customers can see what percentage of their total total daily intake of energy and nutrients are in our products. This includes our burgers, fries and salads" said CEO Peter Bush when speaking about the changes in Australia.
McDonalds New Zealand is the lastest to adopt nutritional labeling amidst concerns that the obesity epidemic has led to a focus on healthy alternatives. McDonalds claims that by labeling packaging with percentage daily intake it can help customers understand more about nutrition.
McDonalds will educate consumers through in-store campaigns, TV commercials and on its internet site. This change to packaging will have an impact on the market as fast food producers and package producers follow suit.
However a study by Professor Klaus Grunert on behalf of the Europe based European Food Information council (EUFIC) said that there is virtually no insight into the correlation between nutritional labeling and consumer choice.
This move is in relation to rising obesity levels across the world. Research by the World Health Organisation shows that in New Zealand 26 per cent of all boys and 27 per cent of all girls aged over 15 are considered obese.
Fears mounting over a world-wide obesity epidemic has led to a focus on healthy alternatives. By labeling packaging with %DI intake McDonalds hopes to help consumers understand more about nutrition.