Sneaky Food Marketing Tactics to Kids

Trix are for kidsBy: Nikki Nies

In any activity, parents want their children to feel included.  Well, parents, you don’t have to worry about marketers excluding your children from their marketing campaigns.  Think about it, when’s the last time you saw Macintosh apples advertised on TV or those scrumptious blueberries announced on the radio?  Crazy thought, huh?

Still don’t believe me? I’ve got #’s to prove my point! The food industry spends an ANNUAL $1.6 billion on marketing foods to children.  And they say our country’s in a recession?  Well, now I know where the money is! Ok, all jokes aside.  To think the marketing campaign is within the billion’s is definitely hard to wrap my mind around. The major concern is what kinds of foods are being advertised.  If fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low fat dairy products were mainstream in food advertisements, I wouldn’t be arguing with $1.6 billion being spent on food marketing.  Yet, the $1.6 billion is spent on high sugar, fat and/or sodium foods.  Specifically, energy dense foods such as salty snacks, carbonated soft drinks, baked goods, sugary breakfast cereals, etc. As you may know from first hand experience, children are a great market to target as they influence parent’s food purchases.  Who can say no to Johnny pleading for the new fruit snacks with Diego on the packaging? Daily, children between the age of 2-17 years old, see on average 12-21 TV commercials for food products.

Food marketers to do a swell job making children think it’s fun and cool to eat unhealthy. Unfortunately, a lot of industries have their hands tied.  They receive the largest profits from unhealthy snacks even if they want to promote the healthy ones.  Now you may be wondering what you can do.  Take your kids outside and enjoy what mother nature gives us on a daily basis! Also, limiting unhealthy snacks to once in a while will eventually increase likelihood of children to not desire sugary sweets and beverages in the long run!


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