The days of greasy fast food are waning, and if big fast food companies want to stay with it, they’ll have to rework their public images, and fast. Rebranding isn’t easy for companies known for highly caloric food, but America’s three biggest fast food chains are starting with the removal of soda as the default drink in kid’s meals.Burger King just announced today that it has taken soda off kid’s menus in favor of milk and apple juice, joining Wendy’s and McDonald’s, which both enacted similar menu changes over the past year. Granted, kids can still order a Coke and fries with their meal if they really want, but the default menu images and listings will show fruit, milk, and juice instead.
“As a member of the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, Burger King has adopted the Initiative’s uniform nutrition standards for kids meals and is an inaugural member of the Kids Live Well program,” Burger King said in a statement. “We have removed fountain drinks from our kids’ menu boards and they are no longer merchandised as part of kids’ meals. BKC reviews its menu and nutrition criteria on an ongoing basis to ensure it is consistent with established scientific and government standards.”
“Restaurant chains that market soda as part of their children’s meals are making life harder for parents, most of whom want to reserve soda as a special, occasional treat if they allow it at all,” said Margo G. Wootan, the director of CSPI in a statement. “It will help children eat better now, as soda is the leading source of calories in children's diets. It also helps to set kids on a path toward healthier eating in the future, with fewer kids becoming conditioned to think that soda should be a part of every eating out occasion.”