After a couple of months of try-out, McDonalds retracted its fitness trackers from their Happy Meals as they might cause skin irritation.
The plan was to make as many kids as possible become more active. Having that purpose in mind, the food company introduced pedometers instead of toys in their Happy Meals. Soon after, a couple of reports convinced McDonalds to remove the devices as they were at risk of irritating the skin.
However, the customers received the action with anger and mockery, as the company is seen as encouraging kids to exercise while serving foods that have a high fat content. McDonalds refused to comment.
One of the healthiest combinations in a Happy Meal menu makes a child take in 19 grams of fat and no less than 410. To consume all that amount of nutrients, a lot of extra physical activities are needed.
Over the time, McDonalds introduced items that are healthier, such as sandwiches with grilled chicken and salads. In particular, the children menus have options like apple slices, fat-free chocolate milk, and yogurt.
However, the adult clients received not so well the new fitness tracker inside the Happy Meal, making it a corporate social responsibility action gone all wrong.
The corporate social responsibility describes the efforts of a company to bring an added value and to help the community. On the other hand, customers are very well aware of the moment when a corporation is just making pretense and is not helping with its actions to improve the quality life of the community.
Another example is the practice in hotels when the customers are asked to re-use bath towels. The question is if the hotel wants to cut off water waste or it just wants to save their costs for energy.
The same thing happened with McDonalds, who used for years the Happy Meal to draw kids into its restaurants. This increased the sales and helped the company through its recent bad years.
The fitness trackers came in six bright colors and lit up when they were used. They were particularly fun for kids. Whereas the products were a good idea indeed, customers had a hard time in associating the image of a pedometer with a company that takes advantage of their kid’s food cravings.
This would be the second error made by McDonalds this year when it comes to corporate social responsibility. The company was obliged to stop the nutrition sessions in schools because parents and advocacy groups said it was sending mixed messages about fast food.
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