We’ve got some good news for parents constantly annoyed by their kids pestering them to go to Taco Bell just to get a kids’ meal with a toy in it — and also, some bad news for parents looking for excuses to eat South of the Border: Taco Bell is doing away with kids meals and the toys that go along with them at all U.S. restaurants. That way, it can focus more on those 20- and 30-somethings jonesing for a burrito at 2 a.m.
“The future of Taco Bell is not about kids meals,” says Taco Bell CEO Greg Creed, via USA Today. “This is about positioning the brand for Millennials.”
When will the last toy be clutched by the last non-millenial customer? Somewhere in January 2014 is when Creed thinks that final showdown will go down.
This is the first time a national fast-food chain has ditched out completely on kids meals (regional chain Jack-in-the-Box did so in 2011), and it’s kind of a shocking move because kids meals are such money makers. The industry sells more than 1.2 billion kids meals per year in the U.S., says the Federal Trade Commission.
Creed says, however, that kids meals only make up for about a half percent of all of Taco Bell’s overall sales.
“It’s fairly inconsistent for an edgy, twentysomething brand to offer kids meals,” he says.
It’ll likely going to please many parents, health advocates and lawmakers, all of whom have been pushing the fast food industry to stop peddling fast food to children.
“It’s a constructive step forward that Taco Bell will no longer use toys to encourage kids to pester their parents to go to their restaurants,” says Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest. “By constantly churning out new toys, fast-food chains have a new angle every six to eight weeks for marketing to kids.”
Taco Bell dropping kids meals, toys [USA Today]