Brazos Valley Home for McDonald's Pilot Program

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With the fast paced lifestyles of many Americans, fast food is often the answer. But now, some fast food chains are trying to offer healthier options.

"I think it's a great effort on their part to try and make their products more healthy," said St. Joseph Clinical Dietitian, Lindsey Briggs. "When you went to fast food restaurants in the past there haven't been a lot of healthy options...a lot of foods they provided, and still do, are very high in calories, fat and trans fat."

Now, after selling Coca-Cola products exclusively for 50 years, McDonald's is offering non-carbonated Pepsi-products at some locations, a move some say weight conscious consumers will like.

"There are benefits to providing non-carbonated, non-caloric beverages versus the high calorie, high sugar sodas that normally for many years have been the only option at a lot of fast food restaurants," said Briggs.

But Briggs says consumers have to keep in mind that some non-carbonated beverages still provide calories.

McDonald's launched the pilot program offering the Pepsi products in Bryan and College Station, and since then, has expanded offering products -- including Propel water, Lipton Tea, Mountain Dew and Tropicana orange juice -- to other areas. And consumers seem pleased with the added selection.

" Well that's good that they're going to take part in trying to improve their customer relations and their image to the public," said Bryan resident Henry Lee Hightower.

And others agree.

"I think it's a great idea! I have a cousin who eats a lot of fast food and it'll be healthier," said Bryan resident Leighann Jewell.

In a statement from McDonald's, the fast food giant says nothing about healthier options, only that they quote, "we're encouraged by what we're hearing from our customers. They're telling us they appreciate the added value, convenience and selection."

McDonald's adds the testing of the new products is still in the early stages.

So only time will tell if the Pepsi products will find a more permanent home under the golden arches.

The following is the full statement from McDonald's USA concerning the addition of Pepsi-products:

"Coca-Cola is a preferred beverage supplier to McDonald’s. We share a commitment to deliver quality, convenience and value to our customers to grow our mutual business.

"Coca-Cola is working with McDonald’s on a test of expanded beverage offerings in a limited number of U.S. McDonald’s restaurants. The tests include carbonated and non-carbonated fountain and grab and go bottles.

"We’re encouraged by what we’re hearing from our customers. They’re telling us they appreciate the added value, convenience and selection. However, it’s too early to speculate on test results or specific product offerings."

Bill Whitman, Spokesman
McDonald’s USA