According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has increased by more than 100 percent in the last three decades. This is mainly due to their dietary options and lack of physical activity.
Therefore, many franchises have had to take measures to prevent children from eating unhealthy food and drinks that could prove harmful to them in the long run. Among these, soft drinks are often considered to be the black sheep of the family, as they provide the consumer with a large number of calories with very little nutritional value, without offering the satiety that the same quantity of milk or of yoghurt would offer.
Thus, Dairy Queen has decided to follow in the footsteps of other brands such as Burger King, Chipotle, McDonald’s, Wendy’s Subway and Panera Bread and stop offering soft drinks with kids’ menu. Instead, children can get either milk or water.
Starting on September 1st 2015, 4,300 franchise locations will comply to this new regulation, according to William Barrier, D.Q. executive vice president of product development and quality, who announced their decision in a letter sent on Thursday, the 14th of May 2015, to the Center of Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).
In reply to that, Margo Wootan, CSPI nutrition policy director states that Dairy Queen should be granted credit for being collaborative and accepting to change their menus in response to their request.
Parents will certainly be grateful once they are able to order their children’s favorite menu without having to refuse the drink that comes with it. Dairy Queen’s Franchise Advisory Council made the decision at the end of April.
Dairy Queen associate vice president of communications, Dean Peters, announced that the company has long been discussing the possibility of providing healthier options for kids: “Children’s nutrition is important to everyone here at DQ and we have been working for a while with our Franchise Advisory Council to [provide] more, and healthier, options,” he said.
It was probably the pressure they got from various interests groups that urged them to make this decision, in order to avoid consumer controversy. Soft drinks will still be on their menus and Dairy Queen employees will not stop children’s parents from ordering them if they want.
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