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Happy Meal

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BUSINESS
July 25, 2011 | By Emily York
Under pressure from health and children's advocacy groups, McDonald's Corp. is making changes to its famed Happy Meals. The fast food chain will add a serving of fruit or vegetable to all of the meals, which are aimed at children, and shrink the portion of French fries. The changes, to be announced Tuesday, will take effect in September in some markets and then roll out to all 14,000 McDonald's restaurants in the U.S. by April. McDonald's said it first experimented with cutting fries entirely from the Happy Meals, but children and parents rebelled.
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ENTERTAINMENT
October 11, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Most people heading to McDonald's know what to expect: They can get a cheeseburger, fries and a drink. And in November, kids can also get something to read -- 20 million somethings. McDonald's will distribute 20 million print books in Happy Meals from Nov. 1-14. Each book will feature a McDonald's Happy Meal character and, according to the press release, "brings nutrition, imagination and play to life in a fun way. " A similar program was launched in England in January after a successful pilot project.
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NEWS
July 26, 2011 | By Chris Woolston, HealthKey / For the Booster Shots blog
A Happy Meal with apple slices (sans caramel) or carrots. Hmmm. McDonald's has trotted out some crazy concepts before. Remember the special packaging for the McDLT that kept the hot side hot and the cool side cool? Or the low-fat McLean Deluxe? But at a time when nearly one in five kids is obese, slimming down the Happy Meal is an idea that might actually stick. I know from personal experience that Happy Meals are a quick way to get a food-type product into a child. And kids, dietitians that they aren't, seem to like everything about them: the fries, the squishy bun on the thin patty, the soda, the toy that ties into some movie that their parents are desperately hoping to avoid.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 9, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
After a successful pilot program, McDonald's has pledged to distribute 15 million books in England over the next two years. In its Happy Meals. Instead of toys. As a book blog, of course, we're all for this kind of thing. Give books away! Equate them with toys! Maybe even convince kids that books are toys! But will the kids buy it? Their parents might. The Guardian reports , "Alistair Macrow, McDonald's vice president, said that feedback about its book giveaway pilot had been 'overwhelmingly positive,' and that 9 out of 10 parents wanted to see more book promotions from the fast-food chain.
NEWS
November 21, 1993 | THE SOCIAL CLIMES STAFF
We thought we'd seen it all on our banquet rounds, but we found out otherwise. Those charity dinners known as the rubber chicken circuit are only rubber chicken up to a point. At a recent fund-raiser at the Beverly Hilton, we were eating the usual pasta and chicken. But we noticed the folks around us were dining on quite another menu. To our left, Mogul A ordered steak sandwiches for everyone at his table.
BUSINESS
May 18, 2011 | By Sharon Bernstein, Los Angeles Times
The restaurant industry is quietly — and successfully — fighting back against the enactment of so-called Happy Meal bans, which forbid restaurants like McDonald's to hand out toys with children's meals that are high in calories. Moving under the radar so stealthily that in some cases local politicians and anti-obesity activists missed it entirely, lobbyists in Florida and Arizona backed successful efforts to take away the power to enact such bans from cities and counties. In Nebraska, a proposed statewide Happy Meal ban died in February, even before its first legislative committee hearing.
BUSINESS
January 21, 2003 | From Reuters
Can Betty Spaghetty rescue Ronald McDonald? McDonald's Corp. is relying on the popular doll and Tonka trucks in its upcoming Happy Meal promotion for children, its latest attempt to revive slowing sales in the U.S. McDonald's, whose previous Happy Meal promotions with Teenie Beanie Babies plush toys drew a near-frenzied response from customers, will sponsor the promotion for four weeks beginning Jan. 24.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 8, 2006 | Rachel Abramowitz, Times Staff Writer
For 10 years, Walt Disney Co. and McDonald's appeared to have the perfect marriage. Happy Meals bore little figurines of Nemo, Mr. Incredible and 101 Dalmatians. But no more. This is one relationship that's ending in part because of the children. Disney is not renewing its cross-promotional pact with the fast-food giant, ending the arrangement with this summer's release of "Cars" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 27, 1998 | SCOTT GLOVER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
To Dan Mastro, there's nothing happy about a perfectly good meal that gets thrown in the garbage. So, on Tuesday, the LAPD sergeant launched a campaign to persuade McDonald's to help stem the tide of Happy Meals being tossed aside by patrons whose only hunger is for the Teenie Beanie Babies inside the bags of children's burgers or chicken McNuggets. Under Mastro's proposal, McDonald's counter workers would ask customers if they really wanted the Happy Meal food or just the trendy toy inside.
BUSINESS
May 19, 2011 | By Emily Bryson York and Gregory Karp
The national debate on corporate responsibility played out in a microcosm at McDonald's annual meeting Thursday, when votes on shareholder proposals became a referendum on the pursuit of profit versus the question of what constitutes the public good. Critics hammered McDonald's executives not only for offering unhealthful menu items but also for marketing fast food to kids with its Ronald McDonald character and Happy Meal toys — all while boasting eight straight years of sales growth despite a deep economic recession.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 8, 2013 | By Valerie J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times
A grill man turned chief executive at McDonald's, Fred L. Turner oversaw an aggressive expansion of the company beginning in the 1970s that turned it into a corporate giant. When he began reshaping the restaurants in 1968, he left a visible legacy by removing the signature golden arches from the building's architecture and placing them on signs out front. What McDonald's founder Ray Kroc called Turner's gift for "planning and vision" is reflected in a restaurant menu that includes the Quarter-Pounder, which he co-developed with a California franchise owner in 1971.
BUSINESS
April 6, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
McDonald's Corp.can keep including toys in Happy Meals in most parts of California after a San Francisco judge threw out a proposed class-action lawsuit seeking to ban the practice in the state. Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer did not give a reason in his decision for dismissing the suit, initially filed in 2010 by the consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest and Monet Parham, listed in the suit as a California mother. Michael F. Jacobson, the group's executive director, said in a strongly worded statement Thursday that using toys to lure kids to unhealthy fast food was "a predatory practice" that involves "unscrupulous marketing techniques.
BUSINESS
April 5, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
McDonald's Corp. can keep selling Happy Meals with toys to California children after a San Francisco judge threw out a proposed class-action lawsuit seeking to ban the practice in the state. The Center for Science in the Public Interest said it will discuss with its co-plaintiff - a California mother - whether to appeal. The group did not seek damages for its fellow plaintiff, though it alleged that she “suffered a monetary loss” because of McDonald's toy-marketing ways.
NEWS
July 26, 2011 | By Chris Woolston, HealthKey / For the Booster Shots blog
A Happy Meal with apple slices (sans caramel) or carrots. Hmmm. McDonald's has trotted out some crazy concepts before. Remember the special packaging for the McDLT that kept the hot side hot and the cool side cool? Or the low-fat McLean Deluxe? But at a time when nearly one in five kids is obese, slimming down the Happy Meal is an idea that might actually stick. I know from personal experience that Happy Meals are a quick way to get a food-type product into a child. And kids, dietitians that they aren't, seem to like everything about them: the fries, the squishy bun on the thin patty, the soda, the toy that ties into some movie that their parents are desperately hoping to avoid.
BUSINESS
July 25, 2011 | By Emily York
Under pressure from health and children's advocacy groups, McDonald's Corp. is making changes to its famed Happy Meals. The fast food chain will add a serving of fruit or vegetable to all of the meals, which are aimed at children, and shrink the portion of French fries. The changes, to be announced Tuesday, will take effect in September in some markets and then roll out to all 14,000 McDonald's restaurants in the U.S. by April. McDonald's said it first experimented with cutting fries entirely from the Happy Meals, but children and parents rebelled.
NEWS
May 20, 2011 | By Marissa Cevallos, HealthKey / For the Booster Shots blog
Ronald McDonald has been getting heat this week from an advocacy group irate at the company's continued marketing to children. The group wants the fast-food giant to retire the mascot and, perhaps more to the point, stop hawking food high in calories, fat and salt to kids. But the fast-food chain says the clown is "an ambassador for good," adding that it has no plans to get rid of Ronald. The company's chief executive also said that consumers have piped up, defending their right to eat what they choose.
BUSINESS
May 19, 2011 | By Emily Bryson York and Gregory Karp
The national debate on corporate responsibility played out in a microcosm at McDonald's annual meeting Thursday, when votes on shareholder proposals became a referendum on the pursuit of profit versus the question of what constitutes the public good. Critics hammered McDonald's executives not only for offering unhealthful menu items but also for marketing fast food to kids with its Ronald McDonald character and Happy Meal toys — all while boasting eight straight years of sales growth despite a deep economic recession.
BUSINESS
May 18, 2011 | By Sharon Bernstein, Los Angeles Times
The restaurant industry is quietly — and successfully — fighting back against the enactment of so-called Happy Meal bans, which forbid restaurants like McDonald's to hand out toys with children's meals that are high in calories. Moving under the radar so stealthily that in some cases local politicians and anti-obesity activists missed it entirely, lobbyists in Florida and Arizona backed successful efforts to take away the power to enact such bans from cities and counties. In Nebraska, a proposed statewide Happy Meal ban died in February, even before its first legislative committee hearing.
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