Thursday, August 25, 2011

KFC Drops Toys in Kids' Meals in Australia

While McDonald's reformulates its Happy Meals but keeps the toys that accompany them, other fast food companies are slowly moving away from being purveyors of play time.

Breaking news from Australia, courtesy of The Daily Telegraph:

"KFC Australia will today announce it is removing toys from its children's meals in all 600 stores across the country.

"It comes three years after the chicken giant committed to stop advertising or actively promoting its kids menu.

"KFC corporate affairs manager Zac Rich said management decided removing toys from children's meals was now 'the right thing to do' despite the fact it is expected to have a negative effect on profits."
Not to be a pessimist, but this is a great marketing ploy. I have a feeling that any "negative effect on profits" will be offset by the tens of millions of dollars of free publicity that KFC will receive in the next several days. Plus, I imagine the number of parents who stop taking their kids to KFC because there are no more toys is very, very small.

Rich, though, is saying all the right things:

  • "From KFC's point of view it is definitely time to move on."
  • "We think the idea of toys being given away with meals has had its day and we're pleased to be taking the lead in removing them."
  • "This is the next step in removing so-called pester power at our stores altogether. We hope this decision today will support parents in making dietary decisions on behalf of their children which aren't influenced in any way by pressure to choose the meal that has a toy."
This really is a phenomenal play on KFC's part; the fact that the company gets to say "dietary decisions" with a straight face is worth its weight in pastured chickens.

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