‘No deal struck’ between Weight Watchers and McDonald’s Australia

Posted by Janice Wong on 4th March 2010

McDonald’s New Zealand yesterday became the first McDonald’s market in the world to offer customers Weight Watchers Approved Meals. Weight Watchers’ business development director Chris Stirk told AAP in a phone interview from NZ after the launch that the meals are available in McDonald’s outlets across NZ only with “no deal struck to bring them to Australia”.

“I’m not ruling that out but at this point there are no discussions,” he said.

Stirk continued to say that McDonald’s Australia and McDonald’s New Zealand are separate business entities. “McDonald’s in Australia aren’t exactly the same as New Zealand. They would have to make a number of changes to ensure they did meet our guidelines and at the moment they don’t,” he said.

The partnership, while positive for McDonald’s in changing the face of their business and the fast-food industry has caused mixed reactions elsewhere.

According to AAP there is widespread concern amongst obesity experts, who believe the move will increase sales in fast-food restaurants and increase the sale of high-fat and high-salt content foods.

Mark Hawthorne, McDonald’s New Zealand Managing Director on the other hand, says the partnership was initiated for the growing number of customers interested in health and wellbeing. “It is a natural step for our company which has made a number of significant and positive changes to our menu over the past few years,” he says.

Big Mac

The three Weight Watchers approved meals are:

  • Filet-O-Fish, Garden Side Salad and medium diet drink or Pump mini
  • 6 Pack Chicken McNuggets (includes nugget sauce or ketchup), Garden Side Salad and medium diet drink or Pump mini
  • Sweet Chilli Seared Chicken Wrap, medium diet drink or Pump mini.