McDonald's New Kale Salad Just Totally Backfired

February 5th 2016

Laura Donovan

In an effort to provide healthier food options, McDonald's rolled out a kale salad last year but a new report from CBC News found that one of the fast food chain's kale salads isn't so healthy after all. It contains more sodium, fat, and calories than the Canada-only Double Big Mac.

The burger chain's "Keep Calm, Caesar On" chicken salad can contain as many as 730 calories, 53 grams of fat, and 1,400 milligrams of salt if you drizzle the Asiago Caesar dressing all over it. This contains more calories than a Double Big Mac, which has fewer calories and less fat:

Double Big Mac vs. caesar salad at McDonald's

"By eating that salad, you're getting your sodium for the day," Canada-based dietitian, Shauna Lindzon told CBC News.

While Lindzon thinks McDonald's was wise to add more vegetables to its menus, she said it's also important to remember that salads aren't necessarily healthy by default, especially when people load them with fat to improve the meal's taste.

"Putting kale into the menu doesn't mean you're getting a healthy choice," she said, adding that even the chain's lightest chicken kale salad, "I'm Greek-ing Out," contains more than 400 calories.

McDonalds' attempts at becoming a "modern, progressive burger company."


McDonald's has set out to develop a healthier image in the public eye. Last year, McDonald's announced its plan to bring kale salad to certain stores as part of its goal to become a "modern, progressive burger company." The company, which was at the center of the Fight for $15 initiative in April to increase pay for minimum wage workers, had just faced store closures, low sales, and falling stocks on top of newsworthy worker protests.

“No business or brand has the divine right to succeed,” CEO Steve Easterbrook said at the time. “The reality is, our recent performance has been poor. The numbers don’t lie... It is customers that decide if we succeed. The message is clear. We are not on our game."

Many have been underwhelmed by McDonalds' attempts to rebrand itself and bounce back from the disasters. McDonalds' recently unveiled All-Day Breakfast caused service to slow down and kitchen operations to become more complicated at certain locations last year.

McDonald's has also struggled to maintain a "cool" reputation among young people. When presidential contender Hillary Clinton visited Chipotle on the campaign trail last spring, Pacific Management Consulting founder John Gordon told CNN Money that her choice was a sign of changing cultural times for McDonald's.

"It's symbolic from a political and business standpoint," he said. "Many people see McDonald's as the brand of yesterday... whereas Chipotle is perceived as the brand of today."

RELATED: McDonald's All-Day Breakfast is a Disaster So Far