Starting this week, Wendy’s will offer eight-ounce, single-serve plastic containers of reduced fat (2 percent) white or lowfat (1 percent) chocolate milk as kids’ meal beverage alternatives at 420 Wendy’s restaurants in Columbus, Ohio; Miami; Philadelphia; and Raleigh, North Carolina.

Wendy’s units involved with the test will also offer a fresh fruit cup—with honeydew melon and cantaloupe chunks—as a kids’ meal substitution for French fries. Customers will not be charged extra for selecting milk or a fruit cup as part of their Kids’ Meal order.

“Since day one, Wendy’s has been known as a place for families,” said Tom Mueller, Wendy’s president and chief operating officer. “We don’t take this loyalty lightly, and we’re actively working to further enhance our menu with quality options that kids want and parents appreciate.”

“Wendy’s is the first restaurant in its category to offer milk in the innovative grab-and-go packaging and we applaud them for taking the first step,” said Julian Toney, senior executive vice president of domestic marketing, Dairy Management Inc. “We understand the importance of flavor and packaging with kids. The fact that Wendy’s is making milk an appealing—and easy—option is good news for both parents and kids.”

The move is in line with dairy industry research. A recent year-long study involving more than 100,000 elementary and secondary school children found that kids consumed more milk when it was offered in plastic grab-and-go containers and in different flavors.

Wendy’s has offered reduced fat white milk in paper cartons for many years as a Kids’ Meal option, but previously has not offered chocolate milk. In addition to Kids’ Meals, both types of milk, as well as the fruit cup, will be offered a la carte. The suggested retail price for the milk is 89 cents and $1.39 for the fruit cup.

The test will be supported by local television advertising and in-store merchandising materials with the theme “Let Kids Be Choosy.” Television advertising is scheduled to air until October 25.

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