McDonald's soft serve ice cream cone
McDonald's has removed artificial flavors from its vanilla soft serve.

OAK BROOK, ILL. — McDonald’s USA has unveiled a change that will affect 60% of the desserts it serves: the removal of artificial flavors.

The fast-food chain said its vanilla soft serve, which is featured in its vanilla cone, McCafe Shakes and McFlurry desserts, no longer contains artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. McDonald’s said it began introducing the new soft serve last fall and has nearly completed the transition in its 14,000 U.S. restaurants.

In addition to the removal of artificial flavor from its vanilla soft serve, McDonald’s said its chocolate and strawberry McCafe shake syrup has no high-fructose corn syrup and the whipped topping served on its shakes contains no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

Darci Forrest, McDonald's
Darci Forrest, senior director of menu innovation at McDonald’s
“We’ve been raising the bar at McDonald’s on serving delicious food that our customers can feel good about eating,” said Darci Forrest, senior director of menu innovation at McDonald’s. “Soft serve now joins other changes we have made, such as removing artificial preservatives from McNuggets, committing to cage-free eggs by 2025 and only serving chicken made from chicken not treated with antibiotics important to human medicine. This, combined with the fact that 100% of the milk used in our soft serve is U.S. sourced, makes this classic treat even more enjoyable during the hot summer months.”