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Product Analysis: Happy Meal Toys
Transcript of Product Analysis: Happy Meal Toys
After learning how Happy Meal toys are correlated to child labor in China, I don't recommend this product to consumers. The toys are made out of cheap plastic that may/may not contain toxic chemicals. The prices are kept low at the expense of the workers.
As of right now, there is no Fair Trade in the toy industry. Everything is made in China, because it is the cheapest way to manufacture toys.
Happy Meal Toys
McDonald's sells up to 1.5 billion toys every year.
Happy Meal toys are typically sold to children from the ages of 3 to 9 years old.
Happy Meal toys, however, are manufactured in China. The people who makes these toys are usually children.
Children as young as 14 years old work for 16 hours a day and earn around $2.95 a day.
This presentation will explore the history of McDonald's Happy Meal, their marketing strategy, the consumer report, and the Happy Meal toys' connection to modern slavery.
In 1977, Dick Brams (an advertising manager) came up with the idea of having a meal specifically for kids.
Although the meal contained the standard cheeseburger, or chicken nuggets, and french fries—it was the toys that was different each week that excited the children.
Over the years, the Happy Meals toys have become so popular that they've become collectibles.
The rise of the Happy Meal toys was in 1997, when McDonald's introduced the tiny Beanie Babies. There was more than 100 million Beanie Babies sold that year.
On the contrary, Happy Meal toys have faced multiple criticism.
CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest) have sued McDonald's, claiming :
"We contend that tempting kids with toys is unfair and deceptive both to kids who don’t understand the concept of advertising and to their parents who have to put up with their nagging children."
On average, preschoolers sees around 2.8 fast food commercials on t.v. everyday.
Today, children are more exposed to fast food advertisements than any other generation.
Researchers discovered that the fast food industry spends around $4.2 billion on commercials and other advertisement.
These advertisements are mostly targeted to younger people and children as young as 2 years old.
75% of McDonald's advertisements are featured on websites for children such as Nick.com and CartoonNetwork.com
In 2004, German photographer Michael Wolf captured the life of the toy factory workers who make toys for companies like McDonald's.
1 out of 3 toys that American children receive are from McDonald's Happy Meal.
However, McDonald's Happy Meal sales have experienced a 5% decline from 2010 to 2011.
More customers find it more convenient to order food from the dollar menu.
McDonald's purchases its Happy Meal toys from manufacturers in countries where the labor is cheap and the product can be made in low prices.
McDonald's has had to frequently recall their Happy Meal toys, because their toys are made of cheap plastic. Such as:
Hello Kitty whistles
Because these product's are made from low prices and the quality is also cheap, it is worth considering and discussing if the workers who make these toys have to suffer through harsh working conditions, extreme overtime and, little to no pay. Most of the time, the toy factories violate the Chinese laws and the ethical code's of McDonalds.
According to Technomic's Consumer Trend Reports:
37% of children choose McDonald's as their favorite fast food restaurant.
The toy that comes with the Happy Meal is the largest influence for the children and approximately 87% of 6 to 7 years old and 80% of 8 to 9 years old are satisfied at the toy that comes with their kids meals.
Companies who manufacture McDonald's Happy Meal toys are:
Guanghye Toys Factory Chenghai District, Shantou City
Simon Marketing Ltd.
In 2000, the South China Morning Post reported that children as young as 14 years old are working 16 hours a day for $2.95 per day.
The children lived in dorms that had 16 other children.
They slept in wooden beds with no mattresses.
The children used false identification to get their jobs.
Around 500,000 children are illegally employed.
After the news was published, McDonald's released a statement:
"We expect our franchise and management to maintain highest standards [...] We are deeply disappointed that this was not the case."
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