New chapter for McDonalds Happy Meals

MCDONALDS has continued its sustainability drive with the announcement that consumers will now have the choice between a book or toy with each Happy Meal.

Happy Meals have traditionally come with toys. However, the fast food chain announced that hard plastic toys will no longer be provided with the kids’ meal come 2021.

The latest move comes alongside a recent survey of 2,000 parents by McDonalds, which found that 47% of the respondents believe that their children are reading less during lockdown and a further 55% said that their kids do not have as much access to books in lockdown.

Michelle Graham-Clare, vice president food and marketing at McDonald’s UK and Ireland, said, “This programme not only allows us to distribute even more books, but also supports our sustainability journey, giving families the ability to opt out of plastic toys. We are always working on our Happy Meal and from 2021, we will no longer give away hard plastic toys. We’re testing new packaging solutions for books and toys and constantly reviewing the menu to offer even greater choice to families.”

Children’s author and McFly front-man Tom Fletcher, announced last year as the McDonald’s Happy Readers ambassador, hailed the move. He said, “My son loves reading at school with his teachers and friends, which he has been missing over the last few months. With books being less accessible to some families during the pandemic, I’m sure many other children across the country have been missing reading at school and borrowing books from libraries.

“I think it’s amazing that a summer holiday treat to McDonald’s can also now mean a great new story to take home. Book or Toy is a very timely and important initiative, which will be beneficial to kids and families over the holidays and beyond, encouraging them to read new books at home together.”