US fastfood giant McDonald's has given a boost to the US apple industry since starting to sell apple slices as part of an effort to provide healthier menu options.

In June, McDonald's launched Happy Meal Choices, which offer children new choices like Apple Dippers and Minute Maid Apple Juice in place of or to accompany traditional Happy Meal products such as French fries.

Jim Cranney, vice president of the US Apple Association, said McDonald's had given the apple industry a "significant boost".

"They've provided a whole new avenue on ways to increase apple consumption and to my knowledge, McDonald's is the leading purchaser of apples in the restaurant industry," Cranney added.

Based on current sales data, McDonald's has estimated that it will sell over 35 million pounds of apples annually just through Apple Dippers.