That’s no fun

About six months ago, San Francisco’s board of supervisors voted to ban the inclusion of toys in kids’ meals at fast food chains. So began the demise of the McDonald’s Happy Meal in that neck of the woods. I suggested an underground market to keep kids from melting down when their meals consisted of, well, meals.

This week, fast food chain Jack in the Box announced it would eliminate toys from its kids’ meals.

A company spokesman said the decision had more to do with the chain’s focus on food than on the matter of toys.

Luring children into fast food restaurants with colorful toys has become an issue of moral debate in our nation, fueled largely by food-policing advocacy groups.

One question becomes whether these kids are driving themselves to score the coveted toys and the fat laden lunches that accompany them. Another question is the company’s latest ad campaign that targets the stoner clientele Jack in the Box enjoys in its late-night hours and how that squares with JITB’s cute and bouncy persona.

But the question lurking in my mind is why a company bearing this name is turning against toys. Does anyone else see the perversity in that?

7 Comments

Filed under Food, Marketing/Advertising/PR

7 responses to “That’s no fun

  1. Marty

    The real loss in San Francisco occurred when Doggie Diner closed.

  2. It is a bit silly to think that Jack in the Box is opposed to toys. What a world we live in!

  3. Yes, there’s a delicious sense of irony in eliminating toys from that restaurant. I had a real problem with the SF issue, because it shouldn’t require legislation. The toys don’t lure children there; as you pointed out, they don’t take themselves. If anything, the toys provide a welcome distraction, allowing parents to actually finish a meal before the kids get bored!

  4. theveryhungrybookworm

    I am rather outraged that toys are eliminated. First of all, if they are concerned that toys are luring kids to eat fat-filled meals, why not take a look at the food they are serving to kids? Secondly, toys at fast food restaurants used to make me so happy that I would forget my food to play with the toy…and they made me happy. Hence, happy meal.

    Grrr.

  5. Yes, ironic indeed! Banning the toys doesn’t make sense to me. Do the kids drive themselves to these restaurants in order to get the toys in these kiddie meals? Hmmm…I think maybe this is a parental responsibility. A parent can withhold the toy until the child eats the meal, and the parent can choose kiddie meals that are healthier because fast food places are now offering healthy options. I think this is called good parenting, or am I wrong?

  6. I think the toys were more nutricious than the food.

  7. Yes. But the goofy thing is that the restaurant is called Jack in the Box.

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