Taco Bell isn’t for kids anymore.
The fast food chain announced on Monday that it was discontinuing its low-selling kids’ meal for good. The meals will last a few more months, but by January 2014 they will be phased out entirely.
Greg Creed, Taco Bell CEO, said the move was an attempt to appeal to a younger demographic — just not too young.
“We want to strengthen and be really clear and focused on our brand positioning as the brand for millennials,” he told The Huffington Post. “And a kid’s meal is just inconsistent with the edgy, left-of-center millennial brand.”
Creed said he actually wanted to get rid of the kids’ meals when he took over as CEO in 2001, but by last year the meals accounted for less than 1 percent of the company’s total sales, equating to about five kids’ meals per store per day.
For Creed, that was too much investment into a failed product.
“We’ve got people dedicated to sourcing the toys, buying the toys, licensing the toys, shipping the toys,” he said. “There are resources in the organization dedicated to this which we can reallocate to things that I think will grow the business and also be more consistent in our positioning.”
In a press released noting the menu change, Taco Bell said it was the first fast-food chain to axe its kids’ menu. Health advocacy groups have criticized fast food chains for marketing high calorie and high fat content food to kids.
“Pioneering this change on our menu is a bold move for our industry, and it makes sense for Taco Bell,” Creed said in a company statement.
The menu change also comes as Taco Bell faces new competition. The Mexican food chain has found success in its Doritos Locos taco, and now Subway has announced it will be offering its own sandwich stuffed with Fritos.