More than a year after McDonald’s announced plans to remove sodas from Happy Meals, the folks at Wendy’s have reportedly decided that they should also stop including the sugary drinks in their kids’ meals.
While we’re still waiting for confirmation about this menu change from the fast food chain, the Center for Science in the Public Interest and other groups are reporting that the Ohio-based business is joining McDonald’s, Subway, Chipotle, Arby’s, and Panera on the list of eateries that don’t serve soda with kids’ meals.
If true, Burger King would remain as the only one of the big three burger chains to still include soda (or pop, Coke, cola, fizzy brown stuff) in the meals for junior diners.
“While parents bear most of the responsibility for feeding their children well, restaurant chains also need to do their part,” said CSPI senior nutrition policy counsel Jessica Almy in a statement. “Restaurants should not be setting parents up for a fight by bundling soda with meal options designed for kids.”
According to CSPI, the Wendy’s menu change came about after shareholders from the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility filed a resolution with the company regarding soda in kids’ meals. ICCR subsequently withdrew the resolution after Wendy’s agreed to rethink the inclusion of soda in kids’ meals.
“We applaud Wendy’s for prioritizing children’s health and providing more nutritious beverage options,” said ICCR member Fr. Michael Crosby of the Wisconsin/Iowa/Minnesota Coalition for Responsible Investment. “Beyond the obvious health risks for kids is the reputational risk these unhealthy drinks carry for the company. As their investors, we are pleased to see them address this important concern.”
UPDATE: In a statement e-mailed to Consumerist, a rep for Wendy’s confirms that the company is dropping soda from these meals.
“For quite some time, we have been displaying imagery of healthful beverage options, including milk, juice and water, whenever we feature our Kids’ Meal offerings on our menuboards, point-of-purchase materials and online properties,” reads the statement. “In the fall of 2014, we took the additional step of removing carbonated soft drinks from the Kids’ Meal listing on our menuboards, both inside our restaurants and at our pick-up windows. The beverage options now listed for Kids’ Meals are: 1% white or chocolate milk, bottled water and 100% juice.”