Taco Bell Ditching Kids' Meals

It's a national fast-food first
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 24, 2013 2:56 AM CDT
Taco Bell Ditching Kids' Meals
This Wednesday, June 6, 2012, file photo shows a Taco Bell restaurant in Richmond, Va.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Taco Bell is making a run from the kids' meals side of the fast-food business, and by next year will be the first national chain to ditch the food-and-toy offerings. The impact on sales will be "insignificant," says CEO Greg Creed, and USA Today puts the figure at half of 1% of all sales. (NPR puts the figure at 10% for McDonald's.) "Kid's meals and toys simply no longer make sense for us to put resources behind." And, besides, they don't fit with the chain's image, says Creed: "It's fairly inconsistent for an edgy, twentysomething brand to offer kids meals."

Activists are already applauding. "Taco Bell is taking a constructive step forward by no longer using toys to encourage kids to pester their parents to go to a restaurant," says the Center for Science in the Public Interest. But the group is not without concerns, chief among them: Will kids now start eating adult meals? "It's not as if its adult menu is full of health food." Taco Bell will begin phasing out kids' meals at some stores this month. Taco Bell's parent company also owns Pizza Hut and KFC; the latter will keep such offerings as the Li'l Bucket Kids Meal—just not with toys included, CNNMoney reports. It will instead feature a National Geographic trivia card. (Read more Taco Bell stories.)

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