MIAMI,(BUSINESS WIRE) -- Today, Burger King Corp. (NYSE:BKC) became the first quick service restaurant chain to announce that it is limiting sodium in all of its Kids Meals advertised to children under 12 years old. The initiative limits sodium to 600 milligrams or less, beginning with its current advertised Kids Meals, and is part of the corporation's BK Positive StepsSM commitment to help children eat and live better.
"We are proud to be the first quick service restaurant to publicly commit to limiting sodium in Kids Meals," said Burger King Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, John W. Chidsey. "At Burger King Corp. we have made a strong, company-wide commitment to help improve childhood nutrition and we will continue to dedicate resources to developing new Kids Meals that meet our stringent nutritional criteria, while also offering the taste and value that our customers expect from BURGER KING(R) restaurants."
In addition, Burger King Corp. also announced that it would further enhance the nutritional profile of Kids Meals advertised to children under 12 years old by emphasizing the beneficial nutrients that kids need most. Specifically, Burger King Corp.'s advertised Kids Meals will now also provide a "good source" or "excellent source" of at least two of the following nutrients: calcium, potassium, fiber, magnesium or vitamin E. These nutrients are identified by the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans as the nutrients that most American children do not get enough of and that are important for normal growth and development.
Burger King Corp's current advertised Kids Meal, consisting of age-appropriate portion sizes of nutritionally fortified KRAFT(R) Macaroni & Cheese, BK(TM) Fresh Apple Fries, fresh apples cut to look like french fries, with low-fat caramel dipping sauce, and HERSHEY'S(R) 1% Low Fat Milk is the first meal to meet this enhanced criteria. At 340 calories, this Kids Meal has just 505 milligrams of sodium and is an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D and a good source of potassium. It also provides a 1/2 cup serving of fresh fruit and an 8 oz serving of low-fat milk. Other Kids Meal options that meet the new criteria are currently in development and will be rolled out by summer 2009.
Burger King Corp.'s new nutritional criteria supplements its advertising pledge to the Council for Better Business Bureaus' (CBBB) Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, in which Burger King Corp. committed to limit 100 percent of its advertising to children under 12 years old to meals that meet nutritional criteria, based on federal dietary guidance.
"I'm thrilled that Burger King Corp. has taken such a proactive step in strengthening its nutritional criteria for children, which was already quite robust," said Elaine Kolish, Director of the CBBB's Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI). "Efforts such as Burger King Corp.'s, as well as other corporations participating in CFBAI, demonstrate the strength of industry self-regulation and show how industry's efforts can be extremely effective in improving food marketing to kids."
More BK Positive StepsSM in Nutrition: 350 Adult Meals Less than 650 Calories
In addition to the BK Positive StepsSM initiatives in childhood nutrition, Burger King Corp. is also making it even easier for adults to select meals that fit their individual diets and lifestyles. Burger King Corp. has identified more than 350 BURGER KING(R) meal combinations that provide 650 calories or less, which is one third of a 2,000 calorie diet. Examples of these meal combinations will soon be featured on tray liners in participating BURGER KING(R) restaurants in New York City, and then rolled out on tray liners nationwide, as well as online at www.BK.com/positivesteps.
As part of the BK Positive StepsSM nutrition program, Burger King Corp. has executed a number of other initiatives such as the elimination of all trans fat cooking oils and ingredients in U.S. and Canadian BURGER KING(R) restaurants; the development of a Nutrition Advisory Panel consisting of five leading health and nutrition third-party experts; the introduction of fresh fruit with BK(TM) Fresh Apple Fries as well as the use of 100 percent recyclable Kids Meal bags.
The BURGER KING(R) system operates more than 11,600 restaurants in all 50 states and in 73 countries and U.S. territories worldwide. Approximately 90 percent of BURGER KING(R) restaurants are owned and operated by independent franchisees, many of them family-owned operations that have been in business for decades. In 2008, Fortune magazine ranked Burger King Corp. among America's 1,000 largest corporations. To learn more about Burger King Corp., please visit the company's Web site at www.bk.com.
SOURCE: Burger King Corp.