Not-So-Happy Meals? According to a new report from the NPD Group, sales of kids’ meals at fast-food restaurants dropped by 11% in 2008, while dollar-menu sales are up 9% in the same period. “Just as adults have moved to greater use of deals and value menus, there continues to be a shift in the way kids are ordering at restaurants or, in many cases, how their parents are ordering for them,” said Bonnie Riggs, restaurant industry analyst at NPD. The research firm also found that fewer families with kids are eating out, not necessarily a surprise given the current economic climate. The silver lining is that there should be a lot more of those talking Star Trek toys available for fans who can’t get enough of Chris Pine and Zach Quinto (what you do with the stuff that BK includes with the toy is up to you). [CSP Daily News] (Photo: TrekMovie.com)

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  1. MercerCh00x says:

    I guess it is because in the uk the pound saver item meals are cheaper than the kids meals. This means more food for less……just with no toy.

  2. HasPonies!Envy_GitEmSteveDave says:

    I blame the general suckiness of toys as a reason to move away from the kids meals. Which reminds me, I need to find some Star Trek glasses.

  3. pb5000 says:

    We never get the happy meal, the majority of the time the happy meal toy is crap my kids forget about by the time we’re home. Plus for $2 off the dollar menu they get what they want and it’s cheaper than whatever the happy meal costs.

  4. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    I’m guessing that parents know kids really don’t know the difference, and if the difference in costs is due to the toy, parents are just buying the nuggets off the dollar menu and forgoing the toy, because what the kids really want is the nuggets, not the toy, which they’re going to forget about in 10 seconds anyway.

    Now I want chicken nuggets.

    • CyGuy says:

      @pecan 3.14159265: I get my daughter a hamburger happy meal and then a four-piece nuggets. Cost is typically $.20 more than a chicken nugget happy mean, and I get to eat the burger! If my other daughter is with us, I’ll get her a hamburger happy meal and then buy her a McDouble. Again I get the burger, and I save the absurd $.20 premium they want to add a single slice of cheese to the single burger they have on the cheeseburger happy meal.

  5. silver-bolt says:

    The cost of a 6-pack nuggets at McDonalds? 2.68.

    The cost of 2 4-packs? 1.98.

    It should be easy to make a choice.

    Unless its after 2am, which then they no longer sell from the dollar menu. Its absolute bullshit. Pluck you Ronald.

  6. geeky_reader says:

    I typically only order kids meals at fast food places to make sure I’m keeping the portion size small. And this year I’ve given up fries as a challenge, so I usually opt for apples over fries in the meals.

    And my toddler son also prefers apples over fries. Seriously without being forced in any way whatsoever.

    Of course this same child of mine has been known to ask for green beans or carrots for bedtime snacks.

    • geeky_reader says:

      @geeky_reader: What I forgot to add is that I still get excited for the toy (I always order the boy’s toy if there is a choice. Been a tomgirl 4eva).

    • HogwartsAlum says:

      @geeky_reader:

      That’s what I do. I can’t eat everything in a regular combo meal, plus it’s cheaper.

      The toy I usually give to my supervisor for her little girl, unless I want it!

  7. TeraGram says:

    I have been astonished at the relatively high price jumps on the kids’ meals at fast food places. The only time my kid orders one is when the toy that’s included is something she’s been collecting OR if it’s a tie-in to a movie that we saw and she liked.
    For example: if there’s a Hello Kitty in the box, oh yeah, gotta have the kid’s meal. She’s fast approaching 9, now, and the days of kid’s meals are waning for her and I’m quite relieved. I can’t remember the last time she wanted one, now that I think on it!

  8. edwardso says:

    And kids are getting a little, shall we say, hungrier these days

    • 99bandito says:

      @edwardso:

      “well, I reckon I usually’d buy them kids a happy meal, but I can stuff twice the food innem for the same money using the dang ol’dollar menu, so gosh darnit, Imma do it”.

      remember folks…every toddler needs a double chees…er…mcdouble and a couple of apple pies.

  9. DePaulBlueDemon says:

    Maybe people have stopped feeding their kids?

  10. MooseOfReason says:

    I only get fast food when I have a coupon.

    I just went a couple days ago to McDonald’s and got a six-piece chicken for $1.00. Wouldn’t pay menu-price for that. It doesn’t seem worth it.

  11. mariospants says:

    Is it me, or is Spock holding his hand completely wrong???