On a Tuesday morning in late November of 2020, McDonald’s tweeted what at the time seemed to be a passing observation without much significance: “one day you ordered a Happy Meal for the last time and you didn’t even know it.”
But the tweet—and consumer reaction to it—went on to become the genesis for a major marketing and retail effort: Cactus Plant Flea Market Box, the limited-edition food and merchandise boxes created in partnership with the buzzy streetwear brand that the fast food giant has positioned like a Happy Meal for adults.
The meals, which hit restaurants on Oct. 3, appear to be a major hit. McDonald’s declined to release sales figures. But the boxes are selling out in various regions, according to local media reports. And the promotion has drawn tons of media attention, from local TV stations to late-night talk shows, including “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.”
“It actually exceeded our expectations,” Jennifer “JJ” Healan, McDonald's VP of U.S. marketing, brand content and engagement, said in an interview. “It has been very successful. And what we have really loved is seeing just the interaction with our brand as we put our brand in culture.”