Breakfast might be the most important meal of the day for McDonald’s Corp., but the Happy Meal is running a very close second.
When the Oak Brook, Ill.-based burger giant recalled its Step-it step-counters from its kids meals earlier this month over concerns about skin irritation, it provided some insight into how important those meals really are.
The answer: Really important.
According to information from the data research firm Sense360, McDonald’s averaged 22 million visits per day from Aug. 9 through Aug. 17, when the chain was running its step counter Happy Meal promotion.
McDonald’s said it gave out 29 million step counters during that time, or 3.2 million per day.
In other words, 14.6 percent of customers ordered Happy Meals, according to the Culver City, Calif.-based Sense360 — generating $10 million in revenue per day.
Of course, the kids aren’t going to McDonald’s on their own, and so the real impact of those Happy Meals is much larger. Because most parents aren’t going to McDonald’s just to watch their kids munch on Chicken McNuggets.
Which is why the big burger chain has been so quick to reshape its Happy Meals in recent years to address concerns about the company’s impact on childhood health. The chain has added fresh fruit, such as apple slices and mandarin oranges. Earlier this year, the company said it had sold 2 billion servings of fresh fruit and yogurt since 2012.
That’s probably also why the company put step counters in those Happy Meals to encourage kids to get moving. That plan backfired.