LOS ANGELES Fast-food chain Burger King Holdings Inc said on Tuesday that, beginning late next year, it will limit advertising aimed at children younger than 12 to food and drinks that meet strict nutritional guidelines.
In conjunction with the Council for Better Business Bureaus' children's food and beverage advertising initiative, Burger King has agreed that, by December 2008, it will limit advertising aimed at children under 12 years old to Kids Meals that provide no more than 560 calories per meal, have less than 30 percent calories from fat and no added trans fats.
Other U.S. food and beverage companies who have joined the initiative include Burger King rival McDonald's Corp, Campbell Soup Co, General Mills Inc, PepsiCo Inc, Kraft Foods Inc, Coca-Cola Co, Hershey Co, Kellogg Co, Mars Inc, Unilever United States and Cadbury Adams USA.
As part of its new commitment, Burger King is currently developing a new, healthier meal for children that will include flame broiled chicken tenders in the shape of a Burger King crown, organic unsweetened apple sauce, low-fat milk and fresh apple slices called Apple Fries.
The chicken tenders will replaced fried tenders and the unsweetened apple sauce will replace a sweetened version currently available in the company's Kids Meals, said spokesman Keva Silversmith.
The new meal will be available nationwide in the spring or summer of next year, Silversmith added, saying it takes time to roll out new products to more than 7,000 restaurants.
"It's really a supply issue and a logistical issue of rolling out the new products to a system this size," he said.
Advertising for the new products will not begin until late next year, once they are established in the restaurants, Silversmith said. In the meantime, Burger King will limit its advertising to kids younger than 12 to its healthiest options, he added.
(Reporting by Nichola Groom)