The Center for Science in the Public Interest Tuesday congratulated Jack in the Box for stopping toy-based marketing to children, “regardless of its motive.”
The advocacy group was reacting to news that the San Diego-based fast-food chain won’t include toys along with its children’s meals. Jack in the Box said it wasn’t responding to pressure from activists, but instead wanted to appeal to parents who are looking for “better quality options.”
The company also said it has added apple bites with caramel dipping sauce, a 70-calorie item, as an alternative to French fries on its menu.
CSPI, which has filed a lawsuit against McDonald’s for using toys to market to children, said it hopes local and state policy makers will join San Francisco in banning toys from certain high-calorie children’s meals, and urged other fast-food chains to follow Jack in the Box’s lead.
“It’s too bad that McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and Taco Bell think they can’t compete on the basis of quality, value, taste, or nutrition, but instead must resort to such a discredited marketing tactic to lure families to their businesses, ” said Margo Wootan, CSPI’s director of Nutrition Policy, in a news release.