McDonald's Launches Shrek-Themed Happy Meal to Motivate Kids to Eat More Fruits, Vegetables and Dairy

May 13, 2010

Happy Meal Marketing Focuses on Great Taste and Fun of These Foods

Oak Brook, Ill. – May 13, 2010 – McDonald’s today announced it has teamed up with DreamWorks Animation for the final chapter of the adventures of the green ogre and his friends in “Shrek Forever After™.” Shrek, Donkey and Puss In Boots encourage kids to “Shrek Out” their Happy Meals around the world with menu options like fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and fruit juices. The Shrek fun continues in a worldwide promotion for all ages, launching in the U.S. on May 14 and followed by an international roll-out throughout the summer. 

“Three years ago Shrek helped us launch our biggest worldwide promotion of fruit, vegetables and dairy,” said Dean Barrett, senior vice president, McDonald’s global marketing. “Now he’s back, with his famous friends, to help us communicate the great taste and fun of these foods in new and even more impactful ways. We anticipate the response to our Happy Meal choice items such as Apple Dippers and low-fat milk jugs will be greater than ever.”

This new Shrek-themed promotion, focusing on the great taste and appeal of fruits and vegetables, reflects McDonald’s ongoing commitment to kids and families and making these foods fun for kids to eat. McDonald’s is broadening the approach by delivering the “great taste” on Shrek packaging, point-of-purchase marketing materials at kids’ eye-level, TV commercials, online and in social media.

"We all face the challenge of motivating our children to even try vegetables, let alone convince them that they tase good and are fun to eat," says Paul Gately, PhD and Professor of Exercise and Obesity at Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, United Kingdom and a member of McDonald's Global Advisory Council.  "Programs like this can be an important step in creating new attitudes with youngsters and actually motivating them to try something new."

In 2007, McDonald’s featured Shrek on the packaging of Happy Meal choice items such as milk jugs and Apple Dippers. Today, McDonald’s estimates almost half of Happy Meals sold worldwide include a fruit, vegetable, milk, juice or water option.

“We continue to work with leading children’s experts and organizations to elevate our approach on how to motivate kids to choose fruits, vegetables and dairy foods more often,” added Barrett.

“Shrek Out” Happy Meals Around the World

In the United States, kids can “Shrek Out” their Happy Meals with Apple Dippers and low-fat white or chocolate milk.  Around the world, children can choose such items with their Happy Meals as:

  • Apple Bags in Australia, and during the Shrek promotion, one in four packages will offer free Shrek ogre ears
  • Corn Cups, Cherry Tomatoes and Carrots in Latin America
  • Organic milk, Fruit Bags (apple slices and grapes) and Carrot Sticks in the United Kingdom and Europe 
  • Corn Cups in Japan

McDonald’s Debuts New Music Videos for Kids Promoting Fruits, Vegetables and Dairy 

Timed to the Shrek promotion, McDonald’s is unveiling Stage M, an action-packed interactive, online experience for kids featuring exciting new music videos recorded by popular kids’ artists –Brandon Smith, musician and star of “Sonny with a Chance” and Olympic gymnast and singer Carly Patterson. The music videos use colorful animation and fun tunes to engage kids in the taste and appeal of fruits and vegetables.  Online components also include kid-friendly activities and games that allow parents and kids to interact with Shrek characters, star in their own music videos and play games involving fruits and vegetables. 

The online kids’ experience goes live May 14 in English at and will be available through participating McDonald’s country websites as well.

A new section on McDonald’s global website,, scheduled to go live May 18 is designed for parents as a resource about food and nutrition. Families will find recipes and advice from McDonald’s very own Chef Dan Coudreaut, explore Happy Meal choices from Argentina to the United Kingdom, and discover more about McDonald’s philosophy in communicating with kids.

Global Partners in Children’s Well-Being

McDonald’s partners with key organizations around the world to help deliver important nutrition messages to kids and families responsibly and proactively. In the U.S., McDonald’s supports the Campaign for Children’s Health program of the Produce for Better Health Foundation. The organization’s “Fruits & Veggies – More Matters” logo is featured on Apple Dippers and Happy Meal packaging.  In the United Kingdom, the 5-A-Day Campaign is a government program to promote fruit and vegetable consumption, and McDonald’s features the “5-A-Day” logo on fruit and carrot stick bags.  In addition, McDonald’s participates in voluntary food pledge programs in the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada and Mexico, to affirm its commitment to responsible marketing to children. 

About McDonald’s

McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) is the leading global foodservice retailer with more than 32,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries. Approximately 80 percent of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by franchisees. Please visit our website at  to learn more about the Company.  For more information about the Shrek Happy Meal and additional materials, please visit our electronic press kit at

About DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc.

DreamWorks Animation SKG (NYSE-DWA) is devoted to producing high-quality family entertainment through the use of computer-generated (CG) animation. Utilizing worldclass creative talent and state-of-the-art technological capabilities, the company is committed to making two computer-animated feature films a year that appeal to a broad movie-going audience.


© 2010

DreamWorks, Shrek, McDonald’s, Happy Meal, McNuggets, and Apple Dippers are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective companies.  At participating restaurants, while supplies last.

Suzanne Valliere, McDonald's - 630-623-7555

Maria Balice, JSH&A Public Relations - 630-916-3045