From coast to coast, the allure of McDonald’s Cactus Plant Flea Market Box, more commonly known as the Adult Happy Meal, had people scouring the internet for info on the high-profile promotion. Now, weeks after the boxes sold out everywhere (to be replaced by the equally anticipated Boo Buckets), we have a better idea of which geographic areas seemed uniquely obsessed with getting their hands on the limited-time CPFM figurines.
Yellow Octopus, an Australian online gift shop, compiled data on the hugely successful McDonald’s promotion and found that the collectible figurines were pulling in major profits on the resale market. For those who bought the initial McDonald’s meal at a price of $10-$13, it’s possible to net a profit of more than $900 on a “Cactus Buddy” toy. Where on the map did interest spike? We’ve got that data, too.
Yellow Octopus used data from eBay and Google Adwords to examine the upward trend in searches for “Adult Happy Meal” across each U.S. state and major city. The Takeout’s home state of Illinois had the highest number of searches for the Cactus Plant Flea Market Boxes, with 87 searches per 100,000 residents.
Perhaps our very own team of Takeout staffers had something to do with these results. The thought isn’t too wildly unlikely, considering that Chicago also landed within the top 10 cities searching for the adult Happy Meals. Chicago had 90 searches per 100,000 residents, and other Illinois cities topped the list as well: Rockford had 98 searches, Joliet came just under that with 96, Naperville had 74, and Aurora rounded out the state’s highest level of searches with 47.
Second in the state race came Hawaii, with 68 searches per 100,000 residents. All the way at the bottom, with just 31 searches per 100,000 people, came South Dakota. I guess a double-eyed Grimace with a side of fries just didn’t spark as much interest in South Dakota as it did in Nevada (67), California (65), or New York (58).
Despite Illinois making multiple appearances within this data, it was actually Salt Lake City, Utah that searched for McDonald’s x Cactus Plant Flea Market the most, with 194 searches per 100,000 residents.
What do all these searches tell us? Nostalgia-based promotions are key for fast food chains. It makes you wonder whether the Happy Meal should even be for kids at all anymore. I would never condone shoving small children aside to get your hands on a toy, but I will advise parents to move their kids the hell out of the way when old-school offers are on the menu. Those are for us.