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Taco Bell menu grows up

A driver places a drive-up order at a Taco Bell.

Taco Bell is getting rid of its Kids' Meals program, which begs the question: Who even knew it had Kids' Meals?

Given that that it’s only about 2 percent of the company’s $7 billion in sales last year, not a lot of people, said Bob Goldin, an analyst at Technomic.

“Taco Bell's target audience is millennial males who really are not coming to restaurants with children,” Goldin said.

He adds that those teenage and 20-something guys aren’t exactly health conscious. They want tasty, cheap food and a lot of it. Along those lines, Taco Bell recently introduced a taco in a shell made out of Cool Ranch Doritos.  

While that tactic might work with adults, heightened concerned about childhood obesity would require Taco Bell to start serving “healthier” options to grow its kids' meals business, said Michael Schaefer, a food and beverage analyst Euromonitor International.

“If you’re primarily marketing to people in their 20s, do you really want to advertise that you can get apple slices or vitamin D milk?” he asked.  

There’s also signs that the Kids' Meal business -- overall -- is losing steam, said Bonnie Riggs is an analyst at the NPD group.

“Back in 2008 we ordered 1.3 billion kids meals at fast food restaurants,” Riggs said. Today, that number is off by 2 million.  

Riggs says, healthier foods are making Kids' Meals more expensive for parents. To add, kids are over Kids' Meals because they want more choice. And that could mean more fast food chains drop Kids' Meals too.

About the author

Queena Kim covers technology for Marketplace. She lives in the Bay Area.
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Kids meals decline over five years by 0.15% and that's classified as losing steam? Thanks, Bonnie. #analysis

Yeah, that one had me scratching my head when I heard it...

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