The Drinks At McDonald’s CosMc’s Spinoff Have Way More Sugar Than You Think

McDonald's employee holding drink

McDonald’s employee holding drink – Gargantiopa/Shutterstock

In 2023, McDonald’s announced it was opening a new spin-off chain of restaurants. Titled CosMc’s (sounds like “cosmics”), the new restaurants have purple, space-age decor and focus more on beverages and snack foods instead of burgers and fries. The official CosMc’s website includes lots of fruit drinks and lemonades, which tout their health benefits, but how healthy are they really?

Former McDonald’s corporate chef Mike Haracz took to TikTok to break down how the new CosMc’s menu is much more sugary than it lets on. Haracz focused on a specific drink called the Berry Hibiscus Sour-ade, one of the restaurant’s “Signature Galactic Boost” drinks. The official menu calls it a “tart lemonade mixed with a sweet berry probiotic blend,” but Haracz says that mentioning the probiotics is a trick he calls a “healthy halo.” This is when a brand promotes one minor health benefit while ignoring several major drawbacks.

In this case, a Berry Hibiscus Sour-ade has 108 grams of sugar, and its ingredients sheet lists the probiotic way after the sugar. Official nutrition facts have to list ingredients in descending order by weight, which means there’s a lot more sugar here than probiotics.

Read more: The Ultimate American Fast Food Restaurants Ranked

Sugar, Water, Lemon Juice

McDonald's iced coffee and lemonade

McDonald’s iced coffee and lemonade – Bloomberg/Getty Images

This “healthy halo” can also be seen with several other colorful drinks on CosMc’s menu. Another Signature Galactic Boost on the menu, the Island Pick-Me-Up Punch, calls itself a “berry-powered lemonade” because of its dried strawberries. When you look at the nutrition facts, a large contains 103 grams of sugar and 500 calories. Its ingredients include tropical punch syrup and a “pre-workout caffeine shot,” and sugar is the top ingredient in both.

Their Blueberry Ginger Boost claims to be boosted with vitamin C, which likely comes from the freeze-dried blueberries in the drink. While a large only contains 35 grams of sugar, it’s packed with 110 milligrams of sodium. Its main ingredient is an “immunity shot,” which includes an unknown amount of ginger, turmeric, and elderberry extracts.

Their coffee frappés have similar sugar levels and calorie ranges but much more sodium. Their simple iced black teas and green teas have very little added to them, containing no sugar or calories and low sodium. But their standard, no-frills lemonade has 75 grams of sugar if you order a large.

McDonald’s Spacey New Breakfast Joint

CosMc's storefront during the day

CosMc’s storefront during the day – Scott Olson/Getty Images

While McDonald’s was originally tight-lipped over what would be on the CosMc’s menu during their initial announcement, they did reveal that the new restaurant chain is based on an old McDonald’s mascot named CosMc (also pronounced “cosmic”).

CosMc was a friendly alien with an orange slug-like head, several hands, and a silver spaceship body, and he joined the fast-food chain’s cast of characters in the 1980s. At the time, CosMc was an intergalactic visitor who kept stealing McDonald’s food, hoping to recreate the burgers in his own galaxy.

Now we know that CosMc’s is more of a competitor to Starbucks than fast-food burger joints, but it ties into a recent McDonald’s trend of focusing on other mascot characters besides their famous clown Ronald McDonald. Not long before the first CosMc’s opened in Illinois, the fast-food giant experimented with the very purple Grimace Shake, based on another McDonald’s side character. The milkshake was vaguely berry-themed, and it also included lots of sugar.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.

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