McDonald’s decision to eliminate the use of artificial preservatives in its Chicken McNuggets proved to be beneficial, as the fast-food restaurant chain reported a substantial increase in McNugget sales during its third quarter of fiscal year 2016.

“We’ve removed artificial preservatives from our popular Chicken McNuggets, and customers have responded favorably to this news, and we’ve seen sales accelerated as a result. Following the announcement, the sales of McNuggets increased nearly 10 percent above previous levels,” Steve Easterbrook, president and CEO of McDonald’s said during an October 21 earnings call with shareholders.

The company’s third quarter ended on September 30. During the quarter, McDonald’s reported a 3.5 percent increase in global comparable sales and a 5 percent increase in diluted earnings per share.


McDonald’s and chicken not treated with human antibiotics

Easterbrook, during the call, also mentioned that the company had completed its transition to chicken not treated with antibiotics important to human health, and that it did so a year before its target date in all of its locations in the United States and Canada. He did not address that transition’s impact on sales, but he hinted that he believed it would give consumers an incentive to dine at McDonald’s restaurants.

“We’re placing significant emphasis on food quality, the customer experience and value to give people more reasons to visit McDonald’s. We believe the long-term investments we are making in these areas provide the foundation on which we’ll build as we work to be recognized as a modern progressive burger company by customers,” Easterbrook said.