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Happy Meal Boxes in Sweden Will Soon Transform Into VR Goggles

"Would you like a futuristic gaming experience with that?" For kids, the main draw of Happy Meals has long been the free toy included in the box, but a high tech upgrade at McDonald's restaurants in Sweden might have adults clamoring to get in on the action. AdFreak reports that 3500 so-called "Happy Goggles" will be sold at 14 McDonald's locations between March 5 and March 12, and the company has released a game to go with the device.

Like Google Cardboard and other DIY VR sets, Happy Goggles are less sophisticated than high-end sets like Oculus Rift, but serve as a cheap and easy way for kids to experience the emerging technology. The device itself (which will only cost around $4.10, according to AdFreak) was designed and developed by DDB Stockholm, and will be released in tandem with a skiing game called Slope Stars. The game, created by a company called North Kingdom Stockholm, is also timed to coincide with a Swedish holiday called "Sportlov."

As demonstrated in the announcement video (above), the goggles are made by unfolding and manipulating the Happy Meal box, then inserting the lens and a smartphone inside. The goggles can be used to play other mobile VR games, while other goggles can be used to play Slope Stars. The game can also be played on its own without the virtual reality component.

Jeff Jackett, marketing director at McDonald's Sweden, described the promotion as a "first trial run globally" in an interview with AdFreak. If tech trends are any indicator though, it will land in other markets in the near future.

Banner image via McDonald's Sverige on YouTube

[h/t Adweek]

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Thanks to a Wet Winter, New Zealand Faces a Potential Potato Chip Shortage
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New Zealand has plenty of unique and tasty snacks, but kiwis also love potato chips. The universal comfort food is in danger Down Under, however, as an unusually wet winter has devastated the island country’s tuber crops, according to BBC News.

Twenty percent of New Zealand’s annual potato crop was wiped out from a series of major storms and floods that ravaged the nation’s North and South Islands, The Guardian reports. In some regions, up to 30 percent of potato crops were affected, with the varieties used to make chips bearing the brunt of the damage.

Potato prices spiked as farmers struggled, but the crisis—now dubbed “chipocalypse” by media outlets—didn't really make the mainstream news until supermarket chain Pak’nSave posted announcements in potato chip aisles that warned customers of a salty snack shortage until the New Year.

Pak’nSave has since rescinded this explanation, claiming instead that they made an ordering error. However, other supermarket chains say they’re working directly with potato chip suppliers to avoid any potential shortfalls, and are aware that supplies might be limited for the foreseeable future.

New Zealand’s potato farming crisis extends far beyond the snack bars at rugby matches and vending machines. Last year’s potato crops either rotted or remained un-harvested, and the ground is still too wet to plant new ones. This hurts New Zealand’s economy: The nation is the world’s ninth-largest exporter of potatoes.

Plus, potatoes “are a food staple, and this is becoming a food security issue as the effects of climate change take their toll on our potato crop,” says Chris Claridge, the chief executive of industry group Potatoes New Zealand, according to The Guardian.

In the meantime, New Zealanders are preparing to hunker down for a few long months of potential potato peril—and according to some social media users, kale chips are not a suitable alternative. “Chipocalypse” indeed.

[h/t BBC News]

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Food
50 Sweet Facts About Your Favorite Halloween Candies
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It’s no surprise that candy delights kids and adults alike. We love sweets so much that the average American eats about 22 pounds of candy each year. Whether you’re looking to impress your friends or simply brush up on your candy trivia, check out these 50 sweet facts about your favorite candies.

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