McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) is continuing the transformation of its Happy Meal from something that makes eating fun into something that makes eating right fun. McDonald's is rolling out a new Happy meal campaign that promotes healthier nutritional choices--and is holding a contest in which kids and parents can potentially further diversify the Happy meal's nutritional offerings.
McDonald's says that its new, healthier Happy Meal, which now automatically includes a "kid-size fry" and apple slices, has been rolled out nationally. Now, it is rolling out two new aspects of that initiative.
One program is the Happy Meal Chefs contest. From today (March 5) through April 18, the company will review "inspiring stories from parent and child teams who enjoy cooking with wholesome ingredients at family mealtime." Ten winning kids will win a trip to the London 2012 Olympic Games, and two "Grand Prize Winners" will become honorary "Happy Meal Chefs," and enjoy what McDonald's describes as "a one-of-a-kind apprenticeship with the company's executive chef, Dan Coudreaut."
The broadcast end of this initiative will see new advertising characters seeking to promote a more balanced diet and active lifestyle. Starting March 7, new characters including "Ferris," his goat, "Ant," and "Deana the Dino," will appear in commercials oriented at children.
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