McDonald's Canada is giving the Happy Meal a makeover by introducing a new automatic offering of yogurt and the choice of apple slices or new mini-sized french fries. The move is part of the company's commitment to provide customers with more nutrition-minded menu options.
"We've worked diligently to offer more variety in our Happy Meal so that the things kids love are also the things that parents can feel good about," said John Betts, president and CEO of McDonald's Canada. "By offering more balanced choices to choose from, we're supporting parents in encouraging their children to enjoy foods that are good for them."
The new Happy Meal will automatically include a Danino strawberry yogurt, the choice of apple slices or new mini-sized french fries, along with the choice of a hamburger, cheeseburger, Chicken McNuggets or a Chicken Snack Wrap, and choice of beverage, including 1 percent white or chocolate milk.
The mini-sized french fries are approximately 31 grams, roughly half the size of the company's small size french fries, and approximately 100 calories. In choosing apple slices, customers will get a full serving of fruit. A Danino yogurt is a source of calcium and vitamin D.
The Happy Meal was first introduced to Canada in 1994 and plays a central role in supporting Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada. Ten cents from every Happy Meal sold every day goes to the charity.
Canadian households will receive a McDonald's mailer, which will include a coupon for $2 off a Happy Meal, valid from May 7 to June 3. McDonald's Canada has also worked with Danone to include a coupon on the Happy Meal box, while supplies last, for $1 off a six-pack of Danino yogurt in retail stores across the country.
The new Happy Meals in Canada debut almost a year after the United States introduced a new version of the popular item. The U.S. version does not contain yogurt, but rather automatically contains ¼-cup of peeled apples and a smaller portion of french fries. The changes cut the item's calorie count by 20 percent.
McHappy Day set for May 2
Additionally, on May 2, McDonald's restaurants across Canada will celebrate McHappy Day, an annual fundraising event where $1 from every Big Mac sandwich, Happy Meal and hot McCafe beverage sold will go to local children's charities, such as Ronald McDonald Houses.
In addition to supporting McHappy Day in-restaurant, Canadians can also show their support by texting "MCHAPPY" to 30333 to make a $5 donation to RMHC.
As part of McHappy Day celebrations, McDonald's Canada's owner/operators and employees will be joined by a variety of special guests, sports and media personalities, politicians and professional entertainers as they greet customers and help raise money in cities and towns across the country.
This year marks the 19th McHappy Day. An event first celebrated in Canada and conceived of by George Cohon, founder of McDonald's Canada and a past president and CEO, McHappy Day is now celebrated worldwide.
Since 2004, McDonald's has raised more than $36 million for Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada by donating 10 cents from the sale of every Happy Meal.