Sorry, Mom and Dad, but the Taco Bell at 1306 Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard is no long selling kids' meals. Neither is the location at 9690 Metcalf. ("We stopped offering them a few days ago," the manager told me. "It all came down from corporate.") Nation's Restaurant News reported yesterday that the fast-food chain decided to eliminate its answer to the popular McDonald's Happy Meal from all of its stores this month. Most Kansas City locations have already stopped offering the meal-with-toy option.
According to the story in Nation's Restaurant News, Taco Bell's chief executive, Greg Creed, released a statement yesterday that announced that "kids' meals are not part of the Irvine, Calif-based chain's long-term brand strategy and have an insignificant impact on sales."
"More importantly," the article continued, "the move away from specifically packaged kids' meals is more to focus on the brand's target audience of Millennials - particularly young males ages 18 to 35."
A Taco Bell spokesman, Rob Poetsch, states, "We have more of an appeal to Millennials, and kids' meals didn't really fit into that brand construct."
And what do local Millennials think of this trend? A local event planner, performer and designer, Chadwick Brooks, is the co-founder and adviser to the Millennial League, a fundraising group for the AIDS Service Foundation, populated primarily by men and women in the 18-35 age range.
"I only eat at Taco Bell between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.," Brooks says. "And alcohol might be involved in the decision."