Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Eleven Points in a ...Large Order of Fries

It caught my attention last week, when it hit the news, that two very iconic brands are going to do the logo dance resulting in one very ironic cha-cha-cha. McDonald's New Zealand is pairing up with Weight Watchers to identify, and subliminally recommend, various popular menu items and provide point equivalents to both customer sets.

One of the beauties of Weight Watchers is that you can eat whatever you want, including fast food, if you so choose. Just make sure it fits into your daily point allotment...cuz if you run out of points before noon, then you are S.O.L.

Three of the items that McDonald's New Zealand and Weight Watchers will highlight are the Filet-O-Fish, Chicken McNuggets and Seared Chicken Wrap. Here are the American equivalents and their point values:
Filet-O-Fish 9 points
Chicken McNuggets (6) 7 points
Grilled Chicken Snack Wrap 6 points

Because I worked on the McDonald's brand in various forms (PR, advertising, marketing) for a decade of my career, I know the menu inside and out. I know what is a healthy choice and what isn't. I also think I know why Weight Watchers is all for this union. The Golden Arches is the third most-recognized logo/symbol in the WORLD, trumped only by the Red Cross and the Olympic rings. It is a pure business move for Weight Watchers exposure. And we know why McDonald's is doing it -- so they can increase their perception as fitting into a healthy lifestyle. The problem is that Weight Watchers is doing this for themselves, not for their customers. It would behoove both companies and this partnership to concentrate on more healthy menu items to highlight to their customers, like the grilled chicken salad or sandwich, apple dippers and yogurt parfait, rather than the fried numbers. Who wants to blow a quarter of their points for the day popping 6 McNuggets into their mouth (and that's without sauce!).

By the way, if you're looking to trade in your bottle of wine for a McDonald's menu item, the Large French Fries come in at 11. Bottoms up!

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