Industry News | April 15, 2004

McDonald's Launches Adult Happy Meal

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McDonald's has announced the launch of a "Go Active!(TM) Adult Happy Meal." It is designed, according to the company, to promote the importance of food/energy balance. This Happy Meal for adults includes a Premium Salad and a bottled water, and a toy of sorts: a Stepometer(TM) that consumers can use to track their daily steps. There will also be a brochure that promotes walking as an attainable -- and effective -- exercise goal. The brochure is authored by exercise physiologist (and Oprah Winfrey's personal trainer) Bob Greene and endorsed by the American College of Sports Medicine.

The Adult Happy Meal is part of a "Lifestyles Platform" McDonald's introduced today at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Other notable planks in the platform include:

  • New Happy Meal (for children) choices. The new offerings include Apple Dippers(R) (fresh, peeled apple slices) served with a low-fat caramel dipping sauce, and new beverage choices including 100% pure apple juice and white and chocolate 1% Milk Jugs.

  • New menu options. Consumers can order burgers and other sandwiches "low-carb-style," without the buns. A "Simple Steps" brochure shows customers how to order across the menu to lower fat, calories, and carbohydrates as desired.

  • McDonald's volunteers to take an industry-leading role to respond to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services challenge to the private sector to assist in fighting obesity.

  • McDonald's will test providing nutrition information on Happy Meals.

  • McDonald's is providing a program called What's On Your Plate, featuring Willie Munchright(TM) to schools across the country. The program teaches elementary school children the importance of physical activity and making smart food choices. The program has been updated to reflect current knowledge in the nutrition community and to address relevant needs of today's children. Originally launched in 1992, McDonald's is making copies of this program, which includes vignettes, leader guides and activity books, available free to schools throughout the U.S.

  • McDonald's will launch "McDonald's Go Active! American Challenge" with Bob Greene. Greene will walk and bike across America for 36 consecutive days, challenging people to take steps toward more active lives.

  • McDonald's is bringing together Ronald McDonald and local Olympic athletes to help children adopt good physically active habits early in their lives. Called "Get Moving with Ronald McDonald," this on-lot show was developed in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  • McDonald's, a longtime sponsor of the Olympics, will pilot a youth Olympic soccer clinic this spring to help promote physical activity among kids. The goal is to make this program available to local soccer organizations nationwide later this year.