BRI NEWS McDonald's China partners with Disney


McDonald's China partners with Disney

China Daily

14:40, October 20, 2019


Phyllis Cheung, CEO of McDonald's China, speaks at the annual McBanquet event on Friday. (Photos: China Daily)

McDonald's China has joined hands with global entertainment giant the Walt Disney Company to launch themed Happy Meals based on Disney movies and has announced plans to open more outlets in lower-tier cities to tap new consumers, said the company's top executive.

Phyllis Cheung, CEO of McDonald's China, said at the annual McBanquet event on Friday that the fast food restaurant chain has established a promotional alliance with Disney in China for the period 2019-2025.

China is the second market to launch this campaign. Last February, the two family favorites reached a multi-year agreement to bring the magic of characters from Disney films to updated Happy Meals in the US market.


Zhang Yichen, chairman of the McDonald's China Board and Phyllis Cheung, CEO of McDonald's China, celebrate the 40th anniversary of Happy Meal on Friday in Shanghai. 

The selected movies will be new releases from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Disney Live Action, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm.

The first batch of Happy Meal's free toys designed with Disney movie characters will be launched at all McDonald's stores in China on Nov 13 and to the first film will be Frozen 2, which is to arrive in theaters in the United States on Nov 22.

"Our partnership begins with toys inspired by Disney movie characters but it is more than that," said Cheung. "Disney has a strong presence in China in terms of its parks and consumer products. There is a lot of potential for our alliances in the future."


McDonald's China launches its annual McBanquet event on Friday.

The launch is also part of efforts to celebrate the 40th anniversary this year of the Happy Meal. Cheung said the company has upgraded its Happy Meal from a three-item menu to a four-item menu with the addition of healthy fruit and vegetable options.

The price will increase two yuan but the toys with the meals will remain free, she said.

The Happy Meal arrived along with the first McDonald's restaurant on the Chinese mainland in 1990.

In 2018, McDonald's China sold over 27 million Happy Meals, including over 16 million servings of milk and more than 5.7 million servings of fruit and vegetables.


McDonald's China launches its annual McBanquet event on Friday.

"The objectives of Happy Meals are not profit-driven. We are trying to nurture a conversation with families who have children aged between three to nine years old on how to eat healthily and how to have a good diet habit," Cheung said.

The CEO said the fast-food chain opened 423 new restaurants in China last year. This year the number is expected to equal last year or slightly exceed it. Nearly half of the new restaurants are located in third- or fourth-tier cities, said Cheung.

"In China our focus is to raise our brand awareness in lower tier cities by developing star food items from each category," she said.

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