Archive for the 'children’s obesity' Category

05
Sep
13

Healthier Marketing: Taco Bell Cutting the Cord On Kids’ Meals

Fast food chains have been constantly under critique since pediatric obesity became a leading medical issue.  The convenience and favorable taste of fast food makes kids’ meals wildly popular,

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 their high calorie count and low nutritional value makes them highly criticized.  The unhealthy food is not the only problem.  Criti

In recent years, chains have begun to listen to health advisers. They claim to make steps toward healthier options, however, these changes might just be cosmetic, rather than a true interest in a creating healthier community.cs have long despised the marketing tactics of these restaurants, especially their relationship with children. The toy offering with each kid’s meal has been called unethical since children beg for the toy, not understanding the unhealthy food that comes along with it.

So far, Taco Bell has become the first national fast food chain to eliminate kid’s meals.  This decision was made following intense pressure from health advocates to eliminate the meals in order to promote healthier food choices for children.  However, CEO Greg Creed says that the pressure from the advocates was not the only force driving the elimination.  Creed says kid’s meals were not profitable for the company, representing only .5% of total sales, and the meals did not suit their target market of millennials.

Other fast food chains feeling heat from health advocates include Jack In The Box which eliminated the kid’s meal option in 2007, however Jack In The Box not a national chain.  For their Kids’ meals, McDonald’s, added apples and downsized the fries. Yet the toys still remain and the kids want them. Trust me, I was specifically asked by my five year old for dinner from McDonald’s last week so he could “get a cool toy”. Which I interpret to be: a piece of plastic crap surrounded by junk food he barely likes and hardly eats. And yet McDonald’s got my money.

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According to various reports, the real reason most brands eliminate kid’s meals or add healthier options is to increase their brand image.  Taco Bell looks good to health advocates and to the public by eliminating possible deceptive marketing to children that comes from offering cool toys in meals. Also, these other options do an excellent job of bringing customers in the doors, where they usually continue to buy the unhealthier menu choices and a profit is still made.

Should brands shift towards healthier food options, even if its not for healthier reasons?  Should Taco Bell be praised for eliminating the kid’s meal, even though they are doing it for primarily fiscal reasons? Is McDonald’s still king because apples are in  happy meals and the fries are smaller, or does it really make any difference?

Tell us what you think in the comments, and head over to our Facebook or Twitter at @weise_ideas.  Be sure to visit us at at WeiseIdeas.com

06
Sep
12

Health Care Marketing: Pretty Plus, New Plus Size Children’s Clothing Line

It’s impossible to ignore the childhood obesity epidemic that is evident and growing in the US today. With such a heightened problem at our fingertips, we as a culture are showing our gluttonous opportunistic faces once again.

Pretty Plus is a new clothing line, originating in Sears that tailors to “plus” size children ranging from 3-10 years of age. They offer styles that mirror those of “normal” size children, enabling larger kids to wear the clothing that is in style.

This brand has proven to be a success overnight. So much so, they have intentions to expand into clothing stores such as Old Navy, The Gap and The Children’s Place.

The success of this plus size brand comes with a price. Many people are concerned with the psychological strain the labels of this clothing are putting on the children. There are debates that calling labeling boy’s clothes “husky” or girl’s clothes “pretty plus” is putting a stigma on them from a young age.

Personally, it saddens me that the unfortunate prevalence of obese children can create such a profitable arena for companies, but it is the reality of our world. I commend people such as Michelle Obama with her ‘Let’s Move!’ initiative, Rachael Ray with her Yum-O organization and the NFL’s Play 60 movement, all of which advocate children’s exercise and/or healthy eating to combat children’s obesity.

Being in the advertising world, I praise the Pretty Plus’s marketing strategy of identifying and jumping on a profitable niche market. Being a health care advocate, I see the unfortunate capitalization on the concession of unhealthy children.

Share your thoughts on the new Pretty Plus brand. Do you think a plus size option for children is advantageous or are we moving backward?




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