Burger King drops toys from children's meals

Toys are not relevant anymore for kids, says fast-food brand.
Rebekah Parsons-King/Fairfax NZ

Toys are not relevant anymore for kids, says fast-food brand.

Burger King will be dropping the toys that accompany kids' meals,  after stopping the televised advertising of meals targeted at children.

But don't think it's  driven by the fight against child obesity - it's purely a marketing decision.

When asked whether Burger King's announcement was based on ethical reasons, Burger King's marketing general manager James Woodbridge said "Ethical? Probably not.

"Through a lot of consumer research with parents, they're telling us that they themselves don't see much value in the toy," he said.

"It's certainly not a big driver for them coming into the restaurant." 

Burger King would encourage other "quick-service restaurants" to take the same approach, he said.

"I think the market's moved on, with something that started two decades ago ... it's no longer relevant."

But a McDonald's spokesperson said  the company planned to keep  its Happy Meal toys.

"We have no immediate plans to stop including toys as part of Happy Meals," the McDonald's spokesperson said, pointing out that McDonald's "self-regulate" Happy Meals to include healthier choices instead. 

Burger King toys will be stopped in May this year as the stock runs out, Woodbridge said.

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While some kids may miss the toys, Woodbridge did indicate the  children's meals would come down in price.

"Some kids' meals on our menu will come down to $4.95," he said. 

Last year the fast-food outlet dropped advertising on television to children - a decision based on marketing results also, although Woodbridge said the company chose to do it "out of their own conscience". 

Burger King would focus  branding on the quality of  its products more than anything else, he said.

"They come to us to get food, they don't come for the toys."

 - Stuff

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