It’s something we’ve been watching at The Food Channel®—how “eating seasonally” has been enhanced thanks to brands embracing the availability of seasonal foods. As in all cases of food trends, McDonald’s® is one of those brands to watch, and the availability of Cuties® is a great example.
Cuties, also called clementines, are easy-to-peel, seedless, oranges that fit perfectly in a to-go meal plan. They are grown, like oranges, in sunny states such as California, where McDonald’s sources its crop from Sun Pacific Cuties. They are available through the winter—which may seem counterintuitive. Their peak season is November/December right up into Spring, meaning you have through March to ensure getting one in a kids’ meal at McDonald’s.
The cuties are reportedly part of McDonald’s commitment to making nutritious choices available in its lineup of Happy Meal and Mighty Kids Meal side choices. You can also choose apple slices or Go-GURT for those meals, passing on the French fries. In fact, since their introduction in 2012, more than 1.2 billion bags of apple slices have been served.
Cuties aren’t just for the kids, though—you can also buy them a la carte. And, wait, there’s more! As part of McDonald’s larger menu strategy to continue offering fresh fruit options, the company is currently testing smaller-sized “junior” bananas.
According to information supplied by McDonald’s, Cuties are a source of vitamin C and provide about one-quarter cup of fruit.
“We know our customers and parents are looking for ways to enjoy more great-tasting and fun sides in our Happy Meals, and Cuties are the perfect fit,” said Greg Watson, senior vice president of menu innovation, McDonald’s. “As part of our commitment to help families make more nutritious choices, we’ll continue to explore more fruit and low-fat dairy sides for our youngest customers.”
The Cuties mark the first time McDonald’s has offered a fresh, whole fruit option. Get them before the end of March!