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Industry

Burgers and books

Mcdonald’s is exchanging the toys for books in its Happy Meals in New Zealand, as part of its Happy Meal Reader programme.

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The Happy Meal Reader programme is hoped to encourage children to read more

Diners at the fast food chain can expect to find classics by children’s book author Roald Dahl packed inside their Happy Meals instead of the usual small, promotional toy.

The books will include popular titles such as Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, and James and the Giant Peach.

Speaking to The Independent, Jo Mitchell, marketing director of McDonald’s New Zealand, says she hopes the Happy Meal shake-up will inspire more children to develop an interest in reading.

The health benefits of reading printed books has been documented widely in science, with one 2013 study reported by The Telegraph, finding that children aged three to five whose parents read to them from an electronic book had lower comprehension than children whose parents read from traditional books.

The Roald Dahl characters are ones that many parents will have enjoyed growing up, and it’s great to play a part in introducing them to a new generation

Mitchell expects the books to be popular with parents as well as children, many of whom will remember Roald Dahl titles from their own childhoods.

“The Roald Dahl characters are ones that many parents will have enjoyed growing up, and it’s great to play a part in introducing them to a new generation,” she continues.

Since the launch of its Happy Meal Reader programme in 2001, the home of the Big Mac has given away 450m books.

This is not the first time Roald Dahl titles have appeared in the Happy Meal Reader programme. In 2015, 14m specially created books were given away at McDonald’s restaurants in the UK.

Although the most recent campaign is taking place in franchises in New Zealand, the chain has announced it will be expanding the initiative to 100 new markets before the end of 2019.

If you have any news, please email carys@linkpublishing.co.uk, or join in with the conversation on Twitter.


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