Fast food chain Hungry Jack will begin introducing sides of vegetables to go with its regular meals starting next month in a move to bolster its health credentials.
The burger giant who just last month refused to join KFC in banning toys with kids' meals will start offering its "Salad Stix" which consists of raw carrots, celery and capsicum sticks, along with optional hummus dip.
"Salad Stix...creates a whole new product category for fast food. No other industry player has taken healthy alternatives to this level," Aaron McKie, CEO of Hungry Jack's told AAP.
The "Salad Stix" offering is the latest health-food initiative from the burger chain which had previously lowered saturated fat content in its fries and chicken meals. McKie has defended his company's health changes to its menus which he said has cost the company big.
"It is a healthy snack of necessary nutrients without unwanted kilojoules and creates a whole new product category for fast food,'' McKie said.
McKie also said that even though the company's health initiatives have been low-key it still reflects on the company's concern for its customers' health.
"We have been quietly improving the nutritional profile of Hungry Jack's products, with major reductions in saturated fat, sodium and sugar levels achieved at a significant cost to the company," he said.
Nutritional experts are not so convinced with the move claiming that its nothing more than marketing gimmick for the fast food giant and that Hungry Jack's isn't really concerned with its customers' health at all.
Customers will have to pay more for the healthy options. Salad Stix is being sold for $4.95 with an additional $2.50 for value meals or as a replacement for fries for an additional $2.
''If Hungry Jack's thinks selling a few sticks of celery is going to take the heat off them, then they are wrong,'' director of the Public Health Advocacy Institute at Curtin University, Mike Daube said.