McDonald's latest attempt to cater to the healthy eating crowd is a bit of a weird animal. Strictly available between 10:30am and 2pm on weekdays, the "Value Lunch" bundles together a McWrap, a bag of Byron Bay cookies and a bottle of water for $8.95. This is supposed to be a healthier and cheaper lunch option than McDonald's usual fare but to be honest we're not entirely convinced.
McDonald's has been having a pretty rough trot lately. With global sales down and consumer trends shifting towards healthier, upmarket takeaway choices, the Golden Arches has been making a concerted effort to keep up with the times. Its latest attempt at reinvention is a new "Value Lunch" range that focuses on high-quality, low-cost food trimmed of saturated fats.
The meal deal offers a choice of a steak or chicken McWrap, a small fries or Byron Bay Triple Choc-Fudge cookies and a bottle of water or diet soft drink:
We plumped for the Steak McWrap, cookie and water option which worked out to a total kilojoule count of 2788kJ. (Getting the fries version would have brought the total to 3350kJ.) The combined fat, sugar, protein and sodium content came to 36.6g, 13.6g, 29.7g and 976mg, respectively. For a McDonald's meal the above nutritional content isn't too bad.
For a meal that's being pitched as a "value" lunch, we can't help but feel a teensy bit cheated. $8.95 is a pretty bog-standard price for a small McDonald's meal and you're not getting a whole lot of food for your money either. The wrap wasn't particularly filling -- especially compared to a Mad Mex Burrito -- and the choc-fudge cookies were two bite-sized morsels. While it filled a hole, I can't say I felt entirely satisfied.
On the plus side, the meal tasted pretty good. The cookies were appropriately moist and crumbly, the wrap was flavoursome and chock-full of steak and the water helped to wash it all down. Our only complaint was the cheap, droopy bread. (You can read our full verdict on the steak McWrap here.)
If you're looking for a slightly healthier McDonald's option, the Value Lunch is worth considering. Just keep your expectations in check when it comes to quantity. The value isn't really there.