Product Review: McDonald’s Asian Chicken Salad

The new McDonald’s Asian Chicken Salad has been heavily marketed as one of the newest healthy additions to the world of fast food. But does it taste good enough to encourage the average health-conscious consumer?

The salad is a colorful assortment of fresh lettuce, tender white meat chicken (you choose grilled or crispy), edamame, snow peas, mandarin oranges, and almonds. All of the textures combine for a satisfying lunch or light dinner, and the sesame ginger dressing adds a kick. The freshness of this salad is a pleasant surprise for the drive-thru, and an excellent choice to enjoy a healthy meal.

With an average market price of $4.49, the meal also fares well for balance of protein, fat, and calorie content. The nutrition facts for the Asian Chicken Salad (grilled) with the Ginger Dressing are:
Calories: 380 (30 percent from fat); Fat: 13g; Sat Fat: 1g; Carbs: 37g; Protein: 32g
The crispy version feature fried chicken and will add to 7 grams of fat per serving.

The salad is also part of the ‘Go Active Happy Meal’ which includes a bottle of Dasani water and workout DVD, exclusively designed for adults. As an incentive to get, and stay healthy, McDonald’s has found a great addition to the standard menu.

(source: http://www.mcdonalds.com/app_controller.nutrition.index1.html#3)

Although McDonald’s has been fairly hesitant to introduce new salads after the ‘McShaker’ Salads in 2003, the Asian Chicken Salad is a welcome addition. They are making other changes too; working aggressively to redefine the interior and exterior designs of the franchises, with the addition of Wi-Fi access, better coffee, and other lifestyle features. The DVDs with the Go Active Happy Meals are available in four different editions, and is an attempt to generate interest in at-home exercises, personal-trainer style. The move is in line with a fresh approach to the needs of the customer, and the healthy salad and Go Active lifestyle menu items are a part of this re-emergence.

Although the Go Active Meal concept may not reach soaring heights for the adult consumer market, the Asian Chicken Salad likely will. Current competition from Wendy’s and Subway Salads can’t compare to the taste, flavor, and freshness of the McDonald’s version. McDonald’s has tapped into a lucrative choice and product, and consumers can take advantage of the value and offering from the chain’s usual unhealthful choices! Choosing grilled over crispy chicken is definitely a healthier option, but the differene in fat content is negligible if you are eating an overall healthy day’s worth of food. Try McDonald’s Asian Chicken for yourself, and you may be pleasantly surprised to add this to your personal health-conscious fast food menu!

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