McDonald's plans to add more salads, raw vegetables, and fruit to the menu by 2020.
But there's a big problem with the retailer's current healthy options: they're too expensive, while customers are broke.
Walter Hickey at FiveThirtyEight recently did an analysis of which McDonald's menu items provide the best and worst values based on net weight per dollar and calories per dollar.
The winning items were diet-busting favorites like the McDouble and Bacon Cheddar McChicken. Both items are on McDonald's Dollar Menu & More.
Meanwhile, lower-calorie items like the Southwest Chicken Salad, Egg White Delight, and Premium Grilled Chicken Sandwich scored among the worst values.
The chain has long complained that consumers are too cash-strapped to shell out for premium fast food.
The healthier sandwiches and salads are advertised as higher-quality, and come at a higher price point.
But customers interested in paying more are likely to go to fast-casual competitors like Panera Bread or Chipotle.
People go to McDonald's because it's cheap and reliable.
They're less likely to shell out for premium items, as demonstrated by the Mighty Wings flop.
McDonald's has been working with suppliers to offer more affordable healthy items, the New York Times reported last year.
In order to succeed, McDonald's will need to offer healthy items at the right price point, like competitor Subway.
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