Many fast food restaurants have marketed collectible toys that come along with their child size meals for years. As the fifth largest burger chain in the country, Jack in the Box recently announced that they will be ending this promotion and instead begin a focus healthier menu items for children.
This restaurant and others like it have come under a lot of opposition from activists groups who claim that the use of toys in marketing directly contributes to the major problem of childhood obesity.
These are high claims. However these claims are the fuel behind certain states placing bans on the use of toys in children’s meals. There’s definitely a controversy taking place. There are enough people in the public agreeing that the toys have a negative effect that it could soon be illegal to place an action figure in with a child’s burger and fries.
Perhaps Jack in the Box recognized these facts early and began this new phase to please the desires of the public. As they have over 2,200 stores nationwide, this trend seems to be impacting more than just one select region. It’s becoming more apparent that the American people are ready to see better choices for our children.
By eliminating the toys, Jack in the Box will be separating themselves from the industry leaders. They will be making a statement.
While it’s debatable that the toys were ever really the problem, it’s great to see that this pressure may be the reason most restaurants are cleaning up their acts. Most big name fast food joints now offer milk instead of soda, or fruit instead of fries. Jack in the Box hopes to offer grilled cheese on sourdough or even grilled chicken in the kid’s meals.
These would be great additions to any drive thru menu. Maybe even offer a side order of veggies as well. At that point, it is doubtful that anyone will care if the toy causes our kids to beg for more broccoli.
June 27th, 2011