Fast food shocker: Taco bell dropping kids meals, toys

Taco Bell plans to sell its last kids meal in January 2014

Published On: Jul 23 2013 03:14:12 AM EDT

Taco Bell is expected to be the first national fast food chain to eliminate kids meals. The chain plans to announce it will stop selling kids meals and toys at all of its U.S. restaurants. The last of the meals is expected to be sold in January 2014.

Kids meals along with toys are a huge lure for children.  The industry sells more than 1.2 billion of them each year in the U.S.

Fast food chains are under increasing pressure by parents, health advocates and lawmakers to improve the nutrition of kids meals and to stop luring them in with toys linked to Hollywood blockbusters.

Fast food giants spend about $580 million annually to market to children under age 12. $340 million of that is spent on licensing and production of toys, according to some estimates.

Taco Bell says kids meals only account for half of 1% of its overall sales. The change means it will cost slightly more for children to eat at Taco Bell.

The change puts Taco Bell in a position to market to Millennials.