Today, Taco Bell is announcing the discontinuation of their Kids Meals. Starting in 2014, the popular fast food chain will not offer bribes to kids in the form of toys and cartoon characters. No more cheap toys as a lure to convince children to convince their parents to buy them unhealthy food.
Granted, the kids’ meals make up less than one percent of total sales for Taco Bell, so this will not be a big loss. Taco Bell is focusing more on the millennial age group and wants to be a bit more edgy as a brand.
And yet, we find this move encouraging, even if it was not done out of interest for children’s nutrition. This is because marketing to children is one of the critical factors in childhood obesity. Marketers have known for years that brand loyalty should be forged as early as possible in a consumer’s life.
Children and tweens are a prime target for junk food and fast food companies. Our weak government regulatory bodies are hapless and helpless in their efforts to regulate marketing to kids. Industry self-regulation attempts have been a joke so far.
So taking a stand like Taco Bell did is significant. And we want to take a minute to commend the company. It is a step in the right direction. It is a signal to the rest of the industry that ending marketing to kids is the right thing to do. A question that only time will answer is whether other fast food chains will follow suit.
Yes McDonald’s, we’re looking at you!
In conclusion, we still don’t think going anywhere near a Taco Bell (or McDonald’s) makes sense at all. The food is nutrient void and tastes terrible. Now it will be a bit easier to convince our kids as well.