The surprising menu item Burger King stopped marketing to kids

March 10, 2015, 3:59 PM UTC

Burger King will no longer be advertising soft drinks on its kids menu, the latest move by a fast food chain to address health concerns among parents.

While kids can still get a soda at Burger King if they or their parents choose, the chain’s kids’ menu will now only list fat-free milk, apple juice and low-fat chocolate milk as options. Burger King didn’t formally announce the plan, instead opting to make a “stealth” move last month, according to USA Today.

Burger King’s decision follows similar recent moves by rivals McDonald’s and Wendy’s as fast food giants have come under increasing pressure to offer healthier alternatives, especially for children. Burger King North America President Alex Macedo told USA Today the changed menus come “as part of our ongoing effort to offer our guests options that match lifestyle needs.”

In February, Burger King, which is owned by Restaurant Brands International, reported that comparable sales increased 3.1% in 2014. Its results appear to be notably better than main competitor McDonald’s which has seen disappointing sales in its fourth quarter earnings announced earlier this week and under new leadership. McDonald’s reported a 4% drop in domestic same-store sales, which the company cited as due to “ongoing aggressive competitive activity.”

Burger King acquired Tim Hortons in 2014 to become Restaurant Brands International and is owned by 3G Capital.

Soft drink consumption overall declined steadily over the nine years leading up to and including 2013, according to Beverage Digest. 2014 data is not yet available. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meanwhile, says that in 2012, “more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.”

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