After more than a decade apart,CNBC reports that Disney has renewed its partnership with McDonald’s.
In 2006, the media giant severed ties with the burger chain, owing to concerns regarding the skyrocketing child obesity rate, reports the LA Times. In response, McDonald’s has steadily rolled out healthier alternative options in its popular meals. Now, Adage reports that the Happy Meal menu is void of both burgers and soda, and Disney is apparently ready to resume their business relationship.
On the horizon, the long-awaited Incredibles sequel has plenty of toy-potential that will look at home within a new, healthier Happy Meal.
Disney Wants More Fruits, Less Fries
In 2006, Disney adopted strict guidelines banning their brands and characters from associating with unhealthy food, according to the New York Times. It was the first major media company to do so. In particular, they wanted to promote consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while reducing intake of sugar, salt, and fat. McDonald’s, known mostly for fast, cheap, fried food, fell short of these requirements. So they did something about it.
Two Company-Wide Makeovers
In the years since the two companies dissolved their partnership, both have undergone extensive brand makeovers. Disney, moving away from the treacly Princess image, acquired Marvel Studios and the Star Wars franchise. They’ve raked in billions of dollars from their increased footprint across a wider entertainment demographic.
McDonald’s, too, revitalized their image. Widespread renovations sought to modernize each franchise location’s aesthetic, transitioning from shabby fast-food joints to sleeker, more contemporary restaurants in a variety of styles. Not to mention the most important thing: the upgrade to the food. With a menu featuring artisan buns, antibiotic-free meat, and a strict 600-calorie limit on Happy Meals, McDonald’s has Disney saying, “I’m loving’ it.”
Better Food, Better Toys
With no time to waste, the two massive companies are getting to work. With the highly-anticipated Incredibles 2 coming to theaters this Summer, McDonald’s is on board to join the promotion, reports Reuters.
Then, they’ve already got their eyes on the toy-friendly Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet coming out in November. All in all: healthier meals, better toys. The Happy Meal may lose its signature burgers, but the kids will still have plenty to be happy about.