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McDonald’s Sees Nearly 40% Increase in Traffic Thanks to Adult Happy Meal Craze

The company’s latest customer engagement effort is a tremendous success.

Quick service brands may want to take note of what McDonald’s is doing. The fast food franchise has cracked the code to boost traffic sales, and the answer is keeping things fresh and interesting with unique promotions. 

After doing many celebrity partnerships to showcase what famous people eat when they come to the golden arches and hosting a Camp McDonald’s virtual initiative, the brand introduced adult Happy Meals. The special menu item has been available since October 3 and has been a huge hit and a tremendous tailwind behind increased sales for the company.

While the overall quick-service industry has seen traffic grow by less than a percentage point each month and even dip into the negatives sometimes, Mcdonald's has consistently been higher, hovering between 2.4% and 9.7% year-over-year. 

And for the month of October, the introduction of the Cactus Plant Flea Market Box has increased traffic to 37.1% and brought the brand its highest week of digital transactions ever, QSR Magazine reports

The Cactus Plant Flea Market Box comes with the choice of a Big Mac or McNuggets, fries, a drink, and either a Grimace, Hamburglar, Birdie or Cactus Buddy figurine. Over 50% of the boxes were sold out at locations within just a few days and have hit eBay with five-figure price tags. 

It’s an unprecedented level of popularity, CEO Chris Kempczinski told QSR. 

“We’re starting to see marketing and our marketing program showing up as significant, meaningful comp drivers for us, and that’s what gives us confidence that we’re finding that right engagement with consumers,” he said.

These efforts to connect with consumers and offer them novice items have been a major help in keeping McDonald’s on the public’s radar despite price increases. The company raised menu prices by about 10% this year, but the data shows that people are willing to shell out a bit more for a fun experience like getting an adult Happy Meal.