Freshii, the healthy-eating concept launched in 2005 that has signed deals for new stores around the world, announced the roll out of its new Freshii Kids Menu.

Matthew Corrin, CEO and founder of Freshii, says the kids’ menu lends a hand to its restaurant operators who before had been given the “creative freedom” to figure out kid-sized portions of the concept’s regular meals.

“We thought, is there a better way to give parents the option of ordering a smaller size that their kids can have in one sitting, as opposed to letting it go to waste or having to stick it in your fridge or having to split it up between a bunch of kids?” Corrin says.

The new menu lets kids choose among a Chicken Quesadilla, a Strawberry Banana Wrap, a Chicken Teriyaki Kids Bowl, Chicken Noodle Kids Soup, or a Fresh Kids Custom Built meal. The meals range in price from $3.99 to $5.99.

Corrin says the kids’ menu is especially important now that Freshii is moving beyond financial centers into more residential areas. Plus, he says, Freshii’s core mission is healthy eating, and childhood nutrition is front and center in the public eye today.

“Freshii is going to become more and more on the forefront of childhood obesity and will lead the charge in eliminating those serious issues,” he says. “This is just the start of it, but we’re going to do some very focused marketing initiatives, and really get more actively involved around children and the obesity epidemic.”

Corrin says he is following Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign to boost childhood health and nutrition, but that Freshii’s limited market penetration makes it difficult to achieve its long-term nutrition goals akin to what the First Lady has called for.

“Once we start to have that and start to penetrate the markets with additional locations, where we can truly become the most convenient choice for parents to bring their children to, then all of these goals and our mission to really change the way kids eat is going to be easier,” he says.

Freshii is in nearly 20 markets today, and Corrin says it will be in 30 markets by the end of the first quarter of 2011.

While Corrin says many of the fast food giants have done the right thing by introducing healthier menu options for kids, like fruits and vegetables, he says a model like Freshii’s, where the healthy options outweigh the unhealthy, is what chains should gravitate toward.

“The challenge is there are still a tremendous amount of bad options available,” he says. “Everybody’s doing good options, it’s just being overridden by the majority of options that are not good for you in the fast food arena.”

By Sam Oches

Menu Innovations, News, Freshii