Carrots in a Box?

After posting yesterday about the impact that food packaging might have on children‘s preference for foods, my officemate came up with a great marketing idea which I will propose to all you entrepreneurs out there: could we get kids to eat more veggies if we just changed the packaging?

Cap'n Carrots: My latest marketing idea!

I recently read an article in Pediatrics which discusses the impact that licensed characters has on children’s food selection. In this study, children were offered three foods – each with two different labels. In the first scenario, two plates of the exact same graham crackers were offered, but one plate had a sign which simply read “Graham Crackers,” while the other was labeled “Graham Crackers,” and  it had an image of a familiar cartoon character. Does it surprise you that kids showed a statistically significant taste preference for the food with the cartoon? The same study was repeated with gummy fruit snacks and baby carrots… but baby carrots taste preference didn’t increase as much with the addition of the cartoon character. Shucks.

So the cartoon character alone might not be enough to really push kids to try and enjoy a good veggie, but are there are other steps marketers could take in packaging? Could the convenient, snack food-like appearance of nutritious foods be the way to encourage kids’ veggie consumption?

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One comment on “Carrots in a Box?

  1. […] Consider how the stakeholders affecting our larger food environment may clash: the food industry’s interest in what foods we purchase is largely driven by profit and sustaining business by selling more product, while parents’ interests are at least partially driven by what they deem healthy for their children. Put simply, parents’ and industry’s interests don’t always align. For instance, consider the impact of food marketing on your food choices. Even I have ranted before about how packaging and familiar spokes characters could influence what kids eat – for better or worse (‘Cap’n Carrots’ anyone?). […]

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