New Packaging for Happy Meals
March 2004 - McDonald's has announced that they are rolling out a new packaging look worldwide for their Happy Meals. At RTM, as toy collectors, we were fond of the packaging that ties into the toys that accompany the meals, but we hope that the new "active" look to the packaging helps inspire kids to be more active and get more exercise.
OAK BROOK, IL, (March 18, 2004) — Inspired by McDonald's "i'm lovin' it™" global brand campaign, the company will roll out several new enhancements to its worldwide Happy Meal program in 2004 tied to the celebration of the icon product's 25th anniversary. The new Happy Meal program will focus on the total dining experience for customers, including expanded menu choice, a new global package design, and a number of innovative restaurant offerings for moms.
"The enhancements we are making to our Happy Meal program reflect our ongoing effort to keep our brand fresh, relevant and in sync with the needs of today's customers, in this case moms and kids," said Larry Light, McDonald's Executive Vice President and Global Chief Marketing Officer. "Our goal is to make the Happy Meal experience even happier – a fun and pleasurable moment for kids and moms to enjoy, with greater menu choice and options. We pioneered the Happy Meal concept 25 years ago and we're taking the lead again with this innovative, new approach."
More menu choice and variety will be offered as part of the new Happy Meal Experience around the world. Options vary by country and include:
- Fruit cups in Italy
- Kid-sized bottled mineral water and Dannon low-fat yogurt in Spain
- Toasted cheese and tomato sandwiches and sultanas (raisins) in Australia
- McFruit drinks and yogurt in Brazil
- Organic milk in the United Kingdom
- Fish McDippers in Japan
- Yogurt smoothies and flavored water in France
- Grilled cheese sandwiches in Canada
- Milk and orange juice in Mexico
- Dannon yogurt, apples, Nesquik cereal bars, and mini apricot pies in Romania
- One-percent milk and Apple Dippers in the United States
- A variety of fruit, chicken, and yogurt products in markets around the world
"We know the importance moms place on making the right food choices for herself and her children," said Light. "As part of this initiative, we will offer customers the ability to choose from selected items as alternatives to traditional Happy Meal offerings."
Bold, new graphics and a fresh, modern look highlight McDonald's new global Happy Meal packaging, which will roll out to McDonald's countries worldwide beginning this month. The new design depicts children doing things they enjoy – playing sports and having fun with friends – and is part of McDonald's global packaging effort, which launched in December 2003.
Created by Boxer, a firm headquartered in Birmingham, England, the new Happy Meal graphics feature puzzles, games and other interactive activities to add value and entertainment to the overall Happy Meal Experience for kids. For moms, there are fun treats that will add to the restaurant experience such as special "mini-magazines" covering fashion, music, and other topics she enjoys.
More For Mom
Through a variety of new initiatives in development, mom will know that McDonald's values her business – and her time. Among the new features for McDonald's moms being explored by select countries worldwide are:
- Restaurant Greeters – Approachable, friendly crew who welcome families and offer assistance in the restaurants (China and Lebanon)
- Mom's Helpers – Specially-trained staff who will assist moms and help supervise children (Italy and the Netherlands)
- Mom's Corner – Special areas where moms can relax while watching their children (Mexico, Lebanon and Romania)
- Mom's Parking – Special parking for moms to make their dining experience easier (Canada and New Zealand)
- Special Amenities – In select restaurants, the United Kingdom will provide magazines for moms, coloring materials for kids and birthday parties as part of their new Happy Meal Experience.
McDonald's new Happy Meal Experience will be phased into McDonald's restaurants around the world throughout 2004. Each country will customize the program to fit customer needs and lifestyles. All restaurants will feature the new packaging by the end of the year.
"The new Happy Meal Experience is part of our Rolling Energy global marketing calendar, which unites our countries behind key efforts to support our icon products and major initiatives," said Light. "By leveraging our resources, talent and infrastructure in this way, we can deliver an outstanding restaurant experience to our customers worldwide."
The Happy Meal first became available on McDonald's menu in 1979 and featured a toy called "Circus Wagon." The product was designed to look like a toy box with a round top like a lunch box.
McDonald's is the world's leading food service retailer with more than 30,000 local McDonald's restaurants serving 47 million customers each day in more than 100 countries. More than 70 percent of McDonald's restaurants around the world are owned and operated by independent, local businessmen and women.