Posted by Jennifer Sokolowsky on January 13, 2011 11:30 AM
McDonald's has seen its share of controversy lately, mostly focused on its marketing of not-so-healthy meals to kids. The city of San Francisco even banned its Happy Meals.
Now another local US government is getting in on the action, but this time it's over the brand's new healthy breakfast item: its new Fruit & Maple Oatmeal. The problem? It seems the oatmeal, featured on McDonald's US homepage, doesn't actually have any real maple in it — and Vermont is serious (downright sappy, you might say) about its maple.
Introduced last month, McDonald's doesn't even mention maple as an ingredient in its advertising, above, other than in the item's name. Now, Vermont agriculture officials are pressuring McDonald's with the argument that if a product says "maple," it's got to have maple in it. So McDonald's would either have to add real maple or change the name and marketing of the product.
McDonald's says it is in "discussions" with the state to work on coming into compliance. We can't imagine, however, that McDonald's will rename its breakfast cereal "Fruit & Proprietary Blend of Natural Flavors Oatmeal," so it will be interesting to see what kind of a compromise is reached.
No word from VT officials on the authenticity of Starbucks' maple-flavored scones.