consumer-advocacy groups

McDonald’s Happy Meals for children came under extreme scrutiny when parents, consumer-advocacy groups, and certain city councils deemed it to be inappropriate to lure children to such an unhealthy meal by including a free toy. In November 2011, the San Francisco city council decided to prohibit the addition of toys to meals that did not conform to specific nutritional values (Melnick, 2011). In July 2011 McDonald’s announced that they plan to provide their customers with a healthier option.

In order to successfully make these changes McDonald’s hired a research group to conduct an extensive research and present them with a cost effective solution. The Research Questions The questions the company had to look into to resolve this issue was: * How can they make the meals for the children healthier while maintaining the convenience that fast food is known for? * How can they cut the calories from their existing meals? * How can they make healthy food desirable to children? * How can they keep these healthier options cost effective? * What would be the best marketing strategy to launch these healthier changes?

The Hypothesis A hypothesis explores a supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation (Merriam-Webster, 2013). In the exploration to raise a question and find an answer, the company has to face the question: how can they make the meals for the children healthier while maintaining the convenience that fast food is known for? Through the years McDonald’s has added a couple new features to their menu like a wider selection in desserts, a value menu, and select new refreshing healthier choices to their fast food chain.

But the question now is, how can they further cut the calories from these meals? Yes, McDonald’s has gained a fine respect in the fast food industry for upgrading to healthier choices, but now the kids menu may need some revamping on their own. If the regular menu can provide healthier choice selections like salads, less than 400 calories, and weight watcher approved items, what can they do about happy meals? A solution to providing a healthier selection is to offer a more beneficial meal that kids can enjoy.

Apple bags, celery sticks, carrots, reduced milk, baked instead of fried items and healthier meat. Those are just a couple of suggestions to an issue that is easy to solve. The main purpose is to change the world one step at a time, and healthier living for is the new road to take. The Variables Local societies are becoming more health conscience and looking for healthier options when going out to eat. Even though McDonald’s did not follow the popular approach by luring people in through the use of famous celebrities, people felt that offering toys with their Happy Meals were unacceptable.

The variables in a research scenario are considered to be independent (IV) and dependent variables (DV). In this research scenario the independent variables are the food and the marketing strategy, while the amount of calories and interest of the children are the dependent variables. Many children were attracted to McDonald’s Happy Meals for the toy they got with it and this is what their marketing strategy revolved around. In April 2012, The Time’s released the article “Why we’re eating fewer happy meals”.

The article’s main focus was McDonald’s use of toys with their Happy Meals and the use of a clown who “is hell-bent on the creepy mission of luring children into McDonald’s, where they’ll be fattened up and primed for a lifetime of regular fast-food dining visits” (Tuttle, 2012, p. 1). Along with improving their Happy Meals, McDonald’s has also changed their marketing strategy. They still offer the toys but it is no longer their main focal point. Instead they now show Ronald McDonald playing around, participating in healthy activities and proclaiming that a healthier life style is a lot of fun.