Oct 6, 2022 - Economy

McDonald's Boo Buckets returning to Happy Meals for Halloween

Halloween faces on plastic buckets

McDonald's is bringing back its Halloween pails for a limited time. Photo courtesy of McDonald's

A fall classic is coming back to McDonald's Happy Meals starting Oct. 18 after a six-year absence: trick-or-treating Halloween pails.

Why it matters: Halloween participation is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels and reach a new spending record of $10.6 billion, up from last year's $10.1 billion, according to the National Retail Federation's annual holiday survey.

  • Consumers plan to spend $100 on average for Halloween candy, decor, cards and costumes, the survey found.
  • Spending on kids’ and adult costumes is expected to total $2.9 billion, the highest amount since 2017.

Driving the news: The upcoming return of the pails, also known as Boo Buckets, comes after the Oct. 3 release of adult Happy Meals in McDonald's next attempt to add more nostalgia to the menu.

Details: The pails will be available at participating restaurants nationwide through Halloween, while supplies last, the fast-food giant confirmed Thursday.

  • Happy Meals will be served in pails instead of traditional boxes for the two weeks. The pails also double as meal toys.

Flashback: The Halloween pails, which double as trick-or-treat buckets, debuted 36 years ago in 1986 in three choices — McBoo, McPunk’n and McGoblin.

  • October 2016 was the last time the pails were available in the U.S., McDonald's said.

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