McDonald’s USA launches Happy Meal Books promotion to celebrate the joy of reading

Between 2013-2016, McDonald’s USA distributed 54M books to kids with plans to distribute 20M more books during the upcoming promotion

OAK BROOK, IL, 2017-Aug-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — In celebration of National Literacy Month in September, McDonald’s USA (NYSE: MCD)  is inviting families to celebrate the joy of reading with the launch of the latest Happy Meal Books promotion. Happy Meal Books will return to restaurants nationwide from September 5-18 helping spread the gift of reading to families across the U.S.

In celebration of its 200th anniversary, HarperCollins Publishers, one of the leading publishers of children’s books, is joining forces with McDonald’s USA to bring families a collection of four Happy Meal-sized books featuring popular titles — “Pete the Cat’s Got Class” by James Dean, “Amelia Bedelia’s First Day of School” by Herman Parish, “Just A School Project” by Mercer Mayer and “If You Take a Mouse to School” by Laura Numeroff. Books are available in English and, in select restaurants, in Spanish.

McDonald’s is also a proud supporter of Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation’s largest children’s literacy organization, which seeks to promote literacy by creating needs-based content and scalable community solutions so every child can experience the life-changing power of literacy. By 2018, McDonald’s will have donated approximately 400,000 books from the Happy Meal Books promotions to RIF literacy efforts and programs across the country.

“HarperCollins is pleased to be part of McDonald’s Happy Meal Books promotion again this year to place beloved books in the hands of millions of children,” says Suzanne Murphy, President and Publisher, HarperCollins Children’s Books. “Reading has a profound impact on the educational development of a child and through this program along with our donation to Reading Is Fundamental, we hope to make book ownership for children more accessible.”

“McDonald’s partnership with RIF is a celebration of the power and joy of families reading together,” said Beth Meyer, Chief Marketing Officer of Reading Is Fundamental. “Six out of 10 low-income families still have no age-appropriate books in their homes, so providing children with books coupled with supplemental literacy resources they need to achieve their full potential has never been more important.”

McDonald’s Happy Meal Book promotion is among a list of the company’s actions supporting a commitment to promote children’s well-being by inspiring kids to engage in active and imaginative play in a fun way and help develop a sense of community. This announcement follows a number of changes McDonald’s has made to its Happy Meal, including:

  • Between 2012-2016, the company served over 78 million Cuties helping increase families’ access to fruit in partnership with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.
  • McDonald’s has served more than 2 billion servings of fruit and low-fat dairy products like Go-Gurt in Happy Meals between 2012-2016.
  • Since 2013, the company has been automatically offering apple slices, a smaller kids-sized fry and the choice of a low-fat dairy option like 1% low-fat white milk or fat-free chocolate milk.
  • Since 2013, McDonald’s has distributed 54 million Happy Meal Books to children nationwide — enough to provide a book to every child in America under the age of 12.*
  • In 2016, the company announced Chicken McNuggets have no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors.

“As we continue to raise the bar for our customers, we’re excited to add to the fun of the Happy Meal experience by inspiring more family time together,” said Julie Wenger, senior director of U.S. marketing at McDonald’s. “We’re proud to partner with HarperCollins and Reading Is Fundamental and invite families to spread the joy of reading through these fun, classic books in our Happy Meals.”

Research by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that reading daily to young children stimulates early brain development and helps build key language, literacy and social skills.

Through McDonald’s partnership with RIF, families can extend learning after reading “Pete the Cat’s Got Class,” “Amelia Bedelia’s First Day of School,” “Just A School Project” and “If You Take a Mouse to School” through Literacy Central. This new, free digital portal, will feature lesson plans, puzzles, activities, and leveled reading passages designed to help build literacy development in children with a focus on the books from the Happy Meal Books program.

For more information about Happy Meal Books, visit www.McDonald’s.com.

About McDonald’s USA
McDonald’s USA, LLC, serves a variety of menu options made with quality ingredients to more than 25 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by businessmen and women. Customers can now log online for free at approximately 11,500 participating Wi-Fi enabled McDonald’s U.S. restaurants. For more information, visit www.mcdonalds.com, or follow us on Twitter @McDonalds and Facebook www.facebook.com/McDonaldsUS/.

About HarperCollins Children’s Books
HarperCollins Children’s Books is one of the leading publishers of children’s and teen books. Respected worldwide for its tradition of publishing quality, award-winning books for young readers, HarperCollins is home to many timeless treasures and bestsellers such as Charlotte’s Web, Goodnight Moon, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Where the Wild Things Are, The Graveyard Book and series including The Chronicles of Narnia, Ramona, Warriors, Pete the Cat, Fancy Nancy, Divergent, and The Selection. Consistently at the forefront of digital innovation, HarperCollins Children’s Books delights readers through engaging storytelling in all formats, including eBooks and apps. HarperCollins Children’s Books is a division of HarperCollins Publishers, one of the leading English-language publishers in the world and a subsidiary of News Corp (NASDAQ: NWS) (NASDAQ: NWSA) (ASX: NWS) (ASX: NWSLV). Headquartered in New York, HarperCollins has operations in 18 countries. You can visit HarperCollins Children’s Books at www.harpercollinschildrens.com and www.epicreads.com and HarperCollins Publishers at www.hc.com.

About Reading Is Fundamental
Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) delivers free books and literacy resources to children and families in underserved communities in the United States. By giving children the opportunity to own a book, RIF inspires them to become lifelong readers and achieve their full potential. As the nation’s largest children’s literacy nonprofit, RIF has placed 412 million books in the hands of more than 40 million children since it was established in 1966. To learn more, visit RIF.org or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

*Based on US Census data projections for 2015 – 24 million children ages 0-5 and 24.7 million children ages 6-11

Source:  McDonald’s USA

McDonald’s rolls out its Signature Crafted Recipes sandwiches together with quasi-utensil Frork

Anthony Sullivan, TV’s greatest pitchman, teams up with McDonald’s on infomercial celebrating the release of the Frork in restaurants on May 5

OAK BROOK, IL, 2017-May-02 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today (May 1, 2017), McDonald’s USA (NYSE: MCD) revealed the Frork, a quasi-utensil, fry-fork hybrid designed solely for scooping up the quality ingredients that may fall while eating a new Signature Crafted™ Recipes sandwich.

McDonald’s is continuing to raise the bar with the national rollout of its Signature Crafted Recipes sandwiches, which feature premium ingredients and unique flavor combinations, including Pico Guacamole, Sweet BBQ Bacon and Maple Bacon Dijon. Each sandwich is served with delicious toppings for customers to enjoy, even when they fall out. McDonald’s is tackling this so-called dilemma with the Frork, a silicone fork-shaped utensil topped with an opening where the customer can insert three-to-four World Famous Fries. The fries become the prongs of the Frork — edible, utilitarian and desperately innovative.

To announce the Frork, McDonald’s turned to legendary pitchman Anthony Sullivan, who shares McDonald’s passion for solving consumer problems with unique products. Sullivan recently starred in McDonald’s first-ever infomercial, which aired in New York on Sunday, April 30, and is now posted to McDonald’s YouTube channe

“Anthony Sullivan here,” said Anthony Sullivan. “Will the Frork change your life? Probably not. Will the Frork improve your Signature Crafted Recipes eating experience? I mean, sure… maybe!”

The Frork works with all three new Signature Crafted Recipes — premium sandwiches that put flavor at the forefront, also giving customers a choice through recipe, protein and bun selection. Signature Crafted Recipes are available for an average price of $4.99 – $5.19 at participating McDonald’s.

  • Pico Guacamole: Smooth and creamy meets chunky and spicy with white cheddar cheese, guacamole made with 100% Hass avocados, freshly prepared Pico de Gallo, crisp leaf lettuce and creamy buttermilk ranch sauce made with real buttermilk and sour cream blended with shallots, garlic and spices. Served with a fresh lime wedge.
  • Sweet BBQ Bacon: Sweet BBQ meets savory, with grilled onions, thick-cut Applewood smoked bacon, creamy white cheddar, delicious BBQ sauce, all topped with golden crispy onions.
  • Maple Bacon Dijon: A satisfying combination of sweet and savory, with grilled onions, thick-cut Applewood smoked bacon with sweet maple seasoning, white cheddar, crisp leaf lettuce and a creamy Dijon sauce.

The Frork and Signature Crafted Recipes can be found near you:

  • Starting April 30, the people can all 1-844-MCD-FRORK (1-844-623-3767) to learn how to get the Frork and coupons to try all three Signature Crafted Recipes.
  • On May 5, Frorks will be given away at select McDonald’s locations nationwide with the purchase of a Signature Crafted Recipes sandwich, while supplies last. Customers can call the same toll-free line or visit McDonalds.com to find the nearest participating McDonald’s.
  • Finally, from May 4 – May 8, with the purchase of a Signature Crafted Recipes sandwich, customers will receive a free medium fry and soft drink at participating McDonald’s.

About McDonald’s USA
McDonald’s USA, LLC, serves a variety of menu options made with quality ingredients to more than 25 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by businessmen and women. Customers can now log online for free at approximately 11,500 participating Wi-Fi enabled McDonald’s U.S. restaurants. For more information, visit www.mcdonalds.com, or follow us on Twitter @McDonalds and Facebook www.facebook.com/mcdonalds.

SOURCE:  McDonald’s

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Becca Hary
McDonald’s USA
becca.hary@us.mcd.com
630-623-7293

Samantha Klein
Golin
sklein@golin.com
312-729-4329

McDonald’s USA to serve fresh beef, prepared when ordered, in all Quarter Pounder burgers by mid-2018

Latest Step in Building a Better McDonald’s Will Bring Fresh Beef, Made-to-Order Quarter Pounder burgers by mid-2018

OAK BROOK, IL, 2017-Apr-04 — /EPR Retail News/ — McDonald’s USA (NYSE: MCD) today (Mar 30, 2017) announced that by mid-2018, it will serve fresh beef, prepared when ordered, in all Quarter Pounder burgers across the majority of its restaurants. The fresh beef burgers, cooked right when ordered, are the latest step the company has made to meet customers’ changing expectations. All McDonald’s burgers use 100 percent pure beef with absolutely no fillers, additives or preservatives.

“Over the past two years, we’ve made a series of bold, tangible changes for our customers,” said McDonald’s President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook. “Serving All-Day Breakfast, moving to cage-free eggs and testing delivery are all proof of our commitment to building a better McDonald’s. And we are committed to transforming more aspects of our business, including offering a more modern and enjoyable dining experience, adding new levels of convenience and technology, and making more positive changes to the food we serve.”

Delivering fresh beef, cooked right when ordered, in Quarter Pounder burgers is one of the company’s latest customer-led initiatives that builds on several other recent milestones, including:

  • In 2015, the company announced a number of changes to how it serves and sources its food by offering All-Day Breakfast, committing to only sourcing cage-free eggs by 2025, and committing to only serve chicken not treated with antibiotics important to human medicine* that was completed nearly a year ahead of schedule in 2016.
  • Last year, the company removed artificial preservatives from several menu items, including Chicken McNuggets and eliminated high fructose corn syrup from the buns used on Big Macs, Quarter Pounders, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, Filet-O-Fish and McChicken sandwiches.

“Today’s announcement is part of a continuing food journey for McDonald’s,” said McDonald’s USA President Chris Kempczinski. “Over the last two years, we have accelerated the pace of change around how we source and serve our food. Delivering fresh beef that’s prepared when our customers order their food is just another example of how we are raising the bar. We’re just getting started, and can’t wait to show you what’s next.”

“This represents a strong partnership between McDonald’s, Lopez Foods and their other beef suppliers to support this initiative and deliver McDonald’s quality standards,” said Ed Sanchez, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lopez Foods. “It was exciting to be part of the test and we look forward to bringing fresh beef to more McDonald’s customers in 2018.”

Quarter Pounder burgers using fresh beef, cooked right when ordered, were initially tested in 325 restaurants across the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area and 77 restaurants in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Quarter Pounder burgers include the Quarter Pounder, Quarter Pounder with Cheese, Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, the Quarter Pounder with Cheese Deluxe and Signature Crafted Recipe burgers.

“We received overwhelmingly positive feedback from customers and employees and we’re proud to have been part of a test that is creating a watershed moment for McDonald’s,” said McDonald’s Dallas/Fort Worth Franchisee Joe Jasper. “This test was driven by the Franchisees, our region and insights from what our customers are asking for when they visit McDonald’s.”

About McDonald’s
McDonald’s USA, LLC, serves a variety of menu options made with quality ingredients to nearly 25 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by businessmen and women. Customers can now log online for free at approximately 11,500 participating Wi-Fi enabled McDonald’s U.S. restaurants. For more information, visit www.mcdonalds.com, or follow us on Twitter @McDonalds and Facebook www.facebook.com/mcdonalds.

For more information, please visit www.hotoffthegrillatmcdonalds.com

* Farmers still use ionophores, a class of antibiotics that are not prescribed to people, to keep chickens healthy.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Media:
Becca Hary
630-623-7293

Investors:
Mike Flores
630-623-3519

Source:  McDonald’s USA

McDonald’s USA announces limited-edition straw designed by a team of aerospace and robotic engineers for Shamrock Season

OAK BROOK, IL, 2017-Feb-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — McDonald’s USA today (Feb 15, 2017) changed the world (of shake-drinking) with a limited-edition straw designed by a team of aerospace and robotic engineers.

The Chocolate Shamrock Shake, one of four new seasonal McCafé beverages, has dual layers of delicious chocolate shake below Shamrock Shake. The new recipe presented McDonald’s a unique challenge to reinvent the shake experience. To deliver the ideal flavor ratio of 50% chocolate and 50% mint in each sip, versus enjoying each flavor separately with a traditional straw, McDonald’s turned to highly-qualified engineering firms. JACE and NK Labs created the probably-more-revolutionary-than-actually-needed Suction Tube for Reverse Axial Withdrawal (the STRAW). The STRAW’s j-shape provides optimal flavor flow dynamics.

“It was a puzzling assignment but one with an ambitious goal,” said Seth Newburg, principal engineer and managing partner at NK Labs. “From a physics perspective, it’s actually quite difficult to deliver a proportional amount of both chocolate and mint flavors with each sip. But that’s exactly what we did. It’s a marvel of fluid dynamics. Thanks Fibonacci sequence.”

McDonald’s has been raising the bar in a number of ways, from how it operates (now serving All Day Breakfast), what it serves (updated Chicken McNuggets® free of artificial preservatives, flavors and colors) and what it offers (changing the Big Mac by offering new Mac sandwich sizes).The release of the Chocolate Shamrock Shake and the STRAW marks the latest example of how McDonald’s is putting its guests at the center of all that it does.

“We’re always listening to what our customers want and reinventing our menu in response,” said Darci Forrest, senior director of menu innovation at McDonald’s. “And though it might sound silly to some, putting our guests first sometimes means re-thinking even the humble straw. We reached out to some of the brightest engineers in the country and asked for their help to create the ultimate shake-drinking experience.”

Due to the STRAW’s unique design, only 2,000 were produced in time for Shamrock season. The STRAW will be available in select participating restaurants with the purchase of a Chocolate Shamrock Shake. Visit mcdonalds.mwnewsroom.com/US to learn where and when the lucky few will be distributed. And, like the seasonal offering of the McCafé Shamrock Chocolate offerings, the STRAW is also available for a limited time.

The Chocolate Shamrock Shake is one of four new mint and chocolate flavored McCafé beverages now available at McDonald’s locations nationwide for a limited time. Those beverages include:

  • Chocolate Shamrock Shake: Vanilla soft serve and chocolate flavored syrup under the original mint flavored Shamrock Shake. Top it off with green sprinkles, whipped topping, and a cherry and it’s a match made in Shamrock heaven.
  • Shamrock Chocolate Chip Frappé: Made with an indulgent blend of chocolate chips and a hint of coffee, topped with green sprinkles, whipped topping, and tantalizing chocolaty drizzle.
  • Shamrock Mocha: Our classic Hot Mocha just got minty. Made with sustainably sourced espresso beans from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms, steamed whole or nonfat milk, mint and mocha flavored syrup, and topped with whipped topping and delicious chocolaty drizzle.
  • Shamrock Hot Chocolate: Our delicious Hot Chocolate now with cool mint flavor. Made with steamed whole or nonfat milk, mint and mocha flavored syrup, and topped with whipped topping and chocolaty drizzle.

As part of Shamrock season, McDonald’s will donate $.25 from each McCafé Shamrock Chocolate beverage purchased to Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) during the week of March 11-17.The iconic Shamrock Shake has been a key part of fundraising for RMHC since 1974 when the first Ronald McDonald House was opened.

About McDonald’s USA
McDonald’s USA, LLC, serves a variety of menu options made with quality ingredients to more than 25 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by businessmen and women. Customers can now log online for free at approximately 11,500 participating Wi-Fi enabled McDonald’s U.S. restaurants. For more information, visit www.mcdonalds.com, or follow us on Twitter @McDonalds and Facebook www.facebook.com/mcdonalds.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Becca Hary
McDonald’s USA
becca.hary@us.mcd.com
630-623-7293

Samantha Klein
Golin
sklein@golin.com
312-729-4329

Source: McDonald’s USA