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Retailers, consumers and prices

McDonald’s banking on consumers lovin’ new packaging

October 29, 2008

McDonald’s is banking on diners lovin’ its new global packaging that will emphasize the hamburger chain’s products and food over the lifestyle of its customers.

The new wrappers, boxes and other containers will now carry photographs and graphics of food and ingredients, as well as playful stories and information about the products. The new packaging is meant to build brand loyalty with the 56 million customers served daily, even as McDonald’s has seen an increase in demand for its low-priced menu items amid the weak U.S. economy.

Mary Dillon, McDonald’s global chief marketing officer declined to say how much the initiative costs, but said the project was the biggest in the company’s history and that it spent a little more than normal on the effort.

“We are putting the focus on our food,” she said at a media event in Chicago. “This new packaging will actually help us reintroduce our iconic products to our customers and showcase new food.”

The new packaging, which will be adapted for most countries and include nutritional information, will roll out across all 118 countries in which McDonald’s operates over the next two years, starting in November in the United States, United Kingdom and Ireland. Dillon said it will not necessarily boost sales, but is meant to build stronger ties with consumers.

The packaging was developed by Boxer, a unit of UK-based Marketing Store Worldwide that also developed the current packaging.

McDonald’s also announced the latest movie tie-in for its child-focused Happy Meal program. The partnership with DreamWorks movie “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa” begins when Nov. 7 and rolls out globally through March 2009.

(Photo: McDonald’s)

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