The redesign is part of the fast-food giant's overall plan to revamp its brand in the face of struggling sales and growing consumer concerns over obesity.
Developed by UK design agency Boxer, the new look will roll out in three stages over the coming year. First to launch in January will be the bags and cold drink containers, as these are the most prominent items customers carry out of restaurants.
Boxer's design incorporates images of people from across the world engaged in a range of lifestyle and sporting activities. A combination of models and real customers were used in the designs.
The phrase 'I'm Lovin' It', taken from the campaign fronted by US pop star Justin Timberlake, stands out from the packs as the only colourful element against the black-and-white photographs. The designs will be used in 11 languages around the world.
The packaging also reflects McDonald's 2004 'year of sport', with Euro 2004 and Olympics logos appearing alongside sporting imagery. The designs support the brand's healthy lifestyle programme, Go Active.
Boxer beat 19 other branding agencies to win the task of designing the packs.
While there will be an overarching design, production of the packs will be carried out by individual countries.
The global packaging concept was first announced in Munich in September as part of McDonald's plans to get its brand back on track (Marketing, September 11). The company claims a 15% to 20% global increase in sales since its 'I'm Lovin' It' ad campaign launched in September.