McDonald’s adds sad option to replace Happy Meal smile

No need to turn that frown upside down.

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Week, McDonald’s is acknowledging that sometimes a Happy Meal is actually a Sad Meal.

TMZ reported Wednesday that the UK division of the company is emphasizing mental health from May 13-19 with a major rebrand of their iconic Happy Meal, dropping the smile from the box and the “Happy” from the menu item.


Might McDonald’s Interest You in a Sad Meal?
People in the UK will receive a plain red container with a small reminder on the bottom that “It’s okay not to feel happy all the time.” McDonald’s UK

Might McDonald’s Interest You in a Sad Meal?
Some McDonald’s locations have a range of emotion stickers for kids to replace the iconic smile with another emotion of their choosing. McDonald’s UK

People in the UK who want to order the beloved item will be ordering “The Meal” and will receive a plain red container with a small reminder on the bottom that “It’s okay not to feel happy all the time.”

The puzzling redesign comes from Leo Burnett UK and Ready 10 in an effort to reflect the results of a study showing that 48% of kids in the UK feel pressured to be happy all the time.

McDonald’s distributed 2.5 million not-so-Happy Meals to over one thousand locations in the UK — and some locations also received a range of emotion stickers for kids to replace the iconic smile with another emotion of their choosing.

“We know how important it is to help stimulate open conversations about mental health in families,” Louise Page, McDonald’s Head of Consumer Communications & Partnerships, said.

“Through this change to our Happy Meal box, we hope many more families are encouraged to kickstart positive conversations around children’s emotions and wellbeing.”

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