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?
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?