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McDonalds India has cut sodium in its French Fries by 20%

McDonald's India French Fries
March 1, 2015
Last month, McDonald's India has cut the amount of calories and salt on its Indian menu as it fights to hold on to customers in a rapidly growing developing market where newer, healthier fast-food options are just starting to catch on.

The burger chain is known globally for the consistency of its food, down to the thickness of fries or the amount of cheese on burgers, and changes run the risk of upsetting customers who expect the same taste on every visit, everywhere.

Amit Jatia, vice president of one of India's two main McDonald's franchisees, said that changes to reduce sodium and calories in fries, buns and sauces had been done gradually, and were subtle enough to keep taste consistent and customers happy. McDonald's has not talked about these changes previously.

"It wasn't as if we suddenly cut the salt in our foods one day. Our menu and sourcing teams have been working to make slight alterations for months now," Jatia told Reuters in an interview.

McDonald's in India has cut sodium in its sauces and buns by 10 percent and in fries by 20 percent, Jatia said. Calories in sauces are down by 30-40 percent over the last six months.

Loyalists interviewed in Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai said they did not detect any difference in taste.

"I order in from McD's at least twice a month and think it tastes pretty much the same," said Rahul Dutta, 29, a marketing executive based in New Delhi.

Jatia heads the south and western McDonald's franchisees in India, running 202 stores and 30 cafes. Another group controls the north and east, with 166 restaurants.
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McDonald's is the leading global foodservice retailer with more than 34,000 local restaurants serving nearly 69 million people in more than 118 countries each day. 
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