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The Happy Meal by McDonald’s: from simple gimmick to icon
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Intrapreneurship, intrapreneurial attitude, innovation


Ronald Menu - the primordial Happy Meal - was established in 1978. It came about by happenstance, like with any great concept, when Doña Yolanda Fernández de Cofiño discovered that the children who frequented McDonald's required a menu with adequate servings for them.

She decided to create a special menu that includes a hamburger, fries, a small coke, and a toy or candy in response to this demand. It was called “The Ronald Menu”.

Seeing this concept, McDonald's Corporation made some tweaks and created - two years later - what we now call “Happy Meal”, the most iconic meal in a box. It was circus-themed and very similar to the one the Happy Meal is today.

Therefore, it can state that the Happy Meal concept originated in Guatemala from a box-based idea of meal. 

Definitively, 3 million Happy Meals are sold every say. This icon started as a simple gimmick from an example of female intrapreneurship in Guatemala, a “tailor-made” solution for children.