BK unveils new kids meal, takeoff on the King

BK unveils new kids meal, takeoff on the King

MIAMI Burger King began the chainwide rollout today of its health-oriented kids' meal, which includes strips of apples that look like French fries. The new option will be promoted in part by the introduction of a new marketing character for the chain, Little King, the purported offspring of the chain’s wooden-faced King icon.

In addition, the Fresh Apple Fries, served in a “Frypod,” are being promoted through a tie-in with the Burning Up Tour of the popular Jonas Brothers teen rock group.

The new 350-calorie bundled meal also features macaroni and cheese, a low-fat caramel dipping sauce for the apple fries, and milk with 1 percent fat. Burger King is touting the $3.49 selection as a nutritionally balanced meal, and stresses that less than 25 percent of the calories come from fat.

Archrival McDonald’s offers also apple slices and a caramel dipping sauce as an alternative to French fries.

Marketing support for the kids' meal also includes television ads and in-store merchandising, the company said. The first TV spot, slated to air July 7, introduces Little King. The second spot, scheduled to air July 21, features an apple exploding into the Fresh Apple Fries.

Burger King also will give away samples of the apple fries in several markets, including Los Angeles, New York, Houston, Chicago and its home city of Miami.

Burger King first unveiled plans for the new menu last September as part of a pledge to focus on health in its advertising to children under 12. At the time, the nation’s second largest hamburger chain announced that it had joined the Council of Better Business Bureaus’ Children’s Food and Advertising Initiative, a voluntary effort to promote health. Rival McDonald’s has been involved since the program was established in 2006.

Burger King said it also recently joined forces with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to promote and educate families on nutrition.

The 11,400-unit Burger King chain is operated and franchised by Burger King Corp. here.