"Kids don't just ask for food from McDonald's," said Thomas Robinson, MD, director of the Center for Healthy Weight at Packard Children's and associate professor of pediatrics and of medicine at the School of Medicine. "They actually believe that the chicken nugget they think is from McDonald's tastes better than an identical, unbranded nugget."
... researchers studied the taste preferences of 63 children between the ages of 3 and 5 who were enrolled in six Head Start centers in San Mateo County, Calif. The children sampled five foods: chicken nuggets, a hamburger, french fries, baby carrots and milk. The chicken nuggets, hamburger and french fries were all from McDonald's; the carrots and milk were purchased from a grocery store. Robinson and his colleagues chose to specifically study McDonald's because the company is the largest fast-food advertiser in the United States and most study subjects would likely be familiar with the brand.
Each food sample was divided into two identical portions, one wrapped in a McDonald's wrapper or placed in a McDonald's bag, and the other in similar wrapping without the McDonald's logo. The children were randomly asked to taste first one and then the other of the five identical, differently packaged, pairs of food samples and indicate whether they tasted the same or which they thought tasted better. With four out of the five foods — chicken nuggets, fries, carrots and milk — significantly more children pegged the McDonald's product as tastier, despite the fact that the foods were exactly the same.
The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
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