Say goodbye to your plastic goodies, kids: Jack in the Box, the country’s fifth largest burger chain, is no longer offering toys with meals marketed towards children. The restaurants are also planning to introduce new, healthier items for kids, like grilled cheese sandwiches and chicken strips.
“We definitely see this as a sign that the public climate is shifting. We definitely think that Jack in the Box, in taking this step, really illustrates the direction in which the rest of the industry needs to go, in order to satisfy what the public wants,” Sara Deon, who directs the “Value the Meal” campaign for Corporate Accountability International, tells MSNBC. Deon's group is one of many that believe that marketing meals with toys is a contributing factor to the childhood obesity epidemic. Deon added that the move differentiates the chain from McDonald's and its “blatantly predatory marketing techniques.”
But the company said that it’s not ditching toys or upping nutritional values because of outside pressure. A spokesman for the chain told Nation’s Restaurant News, “Parents were generally not choosing Jack in the Box as a dining destination because of a toy.” Maybe not, but a lot of 5-year-olds probably were.