McDonald's Oatmeal Latest Addition to Morning Fare

McDonald's sign to advertise McDonald's OatmealWhile chains like Wendy's and Subway struggle to carve a niche in the to-go breakfast business, market leader McDonald's continues to expand its menu. This time it's following the successful lead of Starbucks in jumping on the oatmeal bandwagon. McDonald's Oatmeal (destined, not doubt, for the nickname McOatmeal) will add yet another budget item to the already-crowded McDonald's roster of morning fare, joining favorites such as the Egg McMuffin, pancakes and a variety of coffee-based offerings.

The introduction comes on the heels of an earlier successful roll-out by coffee giant Starbucks, which has found success with its instant steel-cut oats with dried fruit and nuts.Oatmeal is a comfort food, but it also has a reputation as a healthy choice for breakfast. The oats play a role in controlling cholesterol, and the cereal itself is a low-fat choice. However, once oatmeal is laden with brown sugar, dried fruit, nuts and milk (or, God forbid, cream) it is no longer quite the healthy alternative.

If one was to buy a portion of Starbucks Perfect Oatmeal with all the toppings, and add a dollop of milk, it could add up to:
Oatmeal, 140 calories
Brown sugar, 50 calories, 13 grams of sugar
Dried fruit, 100 calories, 30 grams of sugar
Nut medley, 100 calories, 15 grams of fat
2% milk, 17 calories
Total, 407 calories

An Egg McMuffin has 300 calories, with fewer fat calories. The McDonald's oatmeal will reportedly contain 290 calories (with the sugar portion served).

McDonald's version of oatmeal will sell for $1.99, according to the Chicago Tribune. It will be flavored with maple and come with dried mixed fruit and cream. The menu item has been tested at about 600 locations in the Northeast, and is now scheduled to go on sale by the end of the week of Dec. 13 at all outlets nationwide. It will be available all day.

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