McDonald’s UK has seen sales of its side and main salads increase by 55% year-on-year as consumers go for healthier fast food options.

Commenting on the back of McDonald’s Corporation’s global second quarter trading update today (26 July), Paul Pomroy, chief executive of McDonald’s UK and Ireland, said the business had enjoyed another strong quarter of growth in Q2.

He said there had been a positive response to its new menu items, including its improved bacon roll and hot Cajun chicken wrap, which were launched in June alongside its revamped salad range. As well as recipe changes, the new salads were relaunched without their previous plastic packaging, which will reduce plastic waste by 485 metric tonnes annually, he said.

Pomroy also announced that the business would be extending its trial of longer breakfast hours. In May it launched a trial in seven locations in the South East, extending the hours for breakfast, from 10.30am until 11am. “This proved hugely successful and we will be expanding the trial to a further 120 restaurants in the same region over the summer,” he said.

“The retail sector has always been fast-moving; and today’s world is a challenging one due to a number of factors including more competition,” added Pomroy. “Together with our franchisees we’ve invested in new technology and a more convenient experience including table service, McDelivery and our My McDonald’s app; our future relies on us becoming even bolder and evolving our business to reflect customer needs locally.”

McDonald’s Corporation reported a global like-for-like (lfl) sales increase of 6.5% for the second quarter ended 30 June 2019. Revenue was largely flat against the prior year, at £5.3bn, which McDonald’s said was reflective of strong comparable sales, partly offset by the impact of franchising.

Its International Operated segment achieved a 6.6% increase in lfls, reflecting positive results across all markets, primarily driven by the UK, France and Germany.

“With the strong results we achieved in the second quarter, we have now experienced 16 consecutive quarters of positive global comparable sales,” said McDonald’s president and chief executive officer Steve Easterbrook.

“By putting our customers at the centre of all our efforts to run great restaurants, enhance the customer experience and provide delicious menu offerings, we will continue to successfully execute our Velocity Growth Plan.”