The kids' meal or children's meal is a fast food combination meal tailored to and marketed to youngsters. Most kids' meals come in colourful bags or cardboard boxes with depictions of activities on the bag or box and a plastic toy inside. The standard kids' meal comprises a burger, a side item, and a soft drink.
The first kids' meal, Funmeal, emerged at Burger Chef in 1973 and succeeded. Discerning the popularity of the kids' meal, McDonald's introduced its Happy Meal in 1978,[note 1] and other fast food corporations, including Burger King, followed suit with their own kids' meals.
Some fast food corporations considered youngsters their "most important" customers, owing to the success of the kids' meal. Their effectiveness has been ascribed to the fact that the patronage of youngsters often means the patronage of a family and to the allure of the toys, which often are in collectable series. In 2006, $360 million of the expenditures of fast food corporations was for toys in kids' meals, which numbered over 1.2 billion.
In recent years, the popularity of the kids' ...