Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Jack in the Box Removes Toys from Kids' Meals (!)

Six months ago Aasif Mandvi, on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," poked great fun at San Francisco for banning toys from kids' meals (sorry for the 15-second ad):

Joking aside, I wonder what Mandvi thinks now that Jack in the Box, the nation's fifth-largest fast food hamburger chain, will voluntarily stop including toys in kids' meals.

From Nation's Restaurant News:
"Jack in the Box has pulled the toys from its kids’ meals and added new options for children while rolling out new menu boards that executives said are easier to navigate and highlight higher-margin items.

"The San Diego-based Jack in the Box Inc., parent to the 2,200-unit chain, said its decision to stop offering toys with kids’ meals did not come from outside pressure. Activist groups have become more vocal across the U.S., advocating their belief that the marketing of fast-food to children is associated with rising obesity rates, and legislation in two California counties has already restricted the use of toys in certain kids’ meals."
This is not a new pattern; we've seen before how public pressure and/or progressive legislation can lead to meaningful change (despite what Jack in the Box claims). McDonald's discontinuing Happy Meals is a long shot, but Jack in the Box's move will at least energize the conversation.

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