By our friends Margo Wootan & Jessica Almy at The Center for Science in The Public Interest
We’re thrilled to share the news that Applebee’s has dropped soda from its kids’ menu. Applebee’s is the first sit-down restaurant to proactively make this change.
Members of the Food Marketing Workgroup sent Applebee’s a letter last year, urging the company to improve the nutritional quality of its children’s meal options, including removing sugary drinks from the children’s menu. Since then, CSPI, MomsRising, the UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility have continued advocating for DineEquity, Applebee’s parent company, to drop soda from its kids’ menu through a variety of means. There also have been other action alerts and social media efforts aimed at Applebee’s.
These joint efforts have been successful: DineEquity has agreed to remove sugary soda from Applebee’s children’s meals and menus and it will not market soda as part of its kids’ meals. DineEquity’s other restaurant chain IHOP does not have beverages on its children’s menu, nor does it market soda in a kids’ size.
Together, we have succeeded in ensuring that many of the top restaurant chains in the country—including Applebee’s, Burger King, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Dairy Queen—don’t market soda directly to children as part of their kids’ menus. We hope Chili’s will be next, and we look forward to working with you to get sugary drinks off all kids’ menus!
Thank you to everyone who helped to achieve this, particularly our friends at MomsRising, the Rudd Center, and ICCR. This success is yet more proof that companies can change—if they hear from us.