McDonald’s Happy Meal – A Box Full of Surprises

Derrick Lin


Design: Caitlin Choo
Location: Malaysia
Project Type: Student Project
School: The One Academy
Tutor: Deanie Cham
Packaging Substrate / Materials: Paper
Printing Process: Digital Print

The brief tackles on redesigning McDonald’s Happy Meal that uses sustainable materials, reducing plastics and waste materials yet maintaining the functionality of the original packaging. In addition, the Happy Meal toys are needed to be a sustainable play object that has integration with the packaging, educating children on the environment/food sustainability issue through storytelling that aligns to McDonald’s core values.

Through observance, the Happy Meal box does not have enough space to fit the food, drink and toys which indirectly does not have the surprise element in the box itself. Hence, using lots of packaging and plastics that is single-use and will eventually be thrown into the trash.

This Happy Meal packaging serves to be a compact box that enables the food, drink and toys to be together. By using only sustainable materials, it has eliminated the usage of plastics packaging and plastic toys. The educational element comes into play in the toys, storybook and the packaging through Augmented Reality (AR), enhances children’s to be more engaged with the toys.

The objective of the packaging is to teach children about recycling as it is the first step to save the environment. Hence, the burger and fries packaging was merged into 1 to eliminate the packaging of the fries that saves more space to put the drink, toys, napkins and condiments.

The use of colours on the outer packaging correlates back to the initial Happy Meal packaging. The surprise element brings into play when children open the packaging whereby it is a full-blown illustration that brings children to another world that is a landscape view.