The Challenge

  • In September 2013, McDonald’s partnered with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation in a global effort to increase customers’ access to fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and water and to help families make informed choices. McDonald’s made five commitments related to menu offerings, menu boards, packaging, and advertising directed to children to be implemented in 20 major international markets by 2020.
  • McDonald’s recognized the need for a reputable third party to measure and report publicly on progress towards those goals through 2022. In addition, they needed support in collecting, utilizing, and ensuring consistency across many different sources of proprietary data from nearly two dozen international markets.

Our Solution

Keybridge designed and implemented a mixed mixed-methods approach to independently verify and evaluate progress over the 7-year implementation period and across all 20 countries.

  • Keybridge deconstructed the commitment’s five goals into a set of more narrowly defined criteria to enabled verification of the evidence through a binary assessment (i.e., “Was this criterion achieved? Y/N”).
  • Keybridge identified internal and external data sources to verify each criterion, which enabled triangulation to ensure findings were robust and provided color to make the final report more compelling.
  • Keybridge designed, implemented (with local crowdsourcing firms), and analyzed more than 2,300 “secret shopper” surveys; conducted quarterly mobile app and website audits; evaluated the content of all child-directed marketing materials; reviewed ad placement data; and collected and analyzed sales data to assess the impact of the actions taken on customer choices.

End Results

  • Keybridge provided interim progress reports to all participating markets some measurements. These internally facing reports provided clear and actionable feedback to the market teams and helped those markets ensure that the commitments were fulfilled prior to the 2020 deadline.
  • For external audiences, Keybridge created an interactive, multimedia deliverable that met accessibility criteria and generated meaningful media coverage. The report, which featured progress through 2018 and early 2019, showed that the 20 participating markets met the implementation goals ahead of schedule. It also showed that the actions McDonald’s took helped to grow customer selections of better-for-you beverage and side offerings in each market.
  • In short, Keybridge’s internal and external progress reports helped McDonald’s maximize the success of its voluntary corporate commitment.

“These results show how combining the scale and influence of corporations with the expertise of national public health organizations can be a strategy for transformational change.”

— Kathy Higgins, CEO, Alliance for a Healthier Generation