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Cartoon Culture

Breaking News…

This just in from ABC News, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company: Kids Think Food Tastes Better From Cartooned Packages.

(Thanks, Jeremy Bernstein)

  • Well, it doesn’t help that everything with a cartoon character on it has something like 50% more sugar or sodium than everything else on the shelf. I’ve got a new strategy for that: I tell my 4-year old that he can pick out any cereal he wants as long as there isn’t a cartoon on the box. Sad, really.

  • Right, breaking news indeed. The findings may not be shocking to those of us familiar with the depth of character licensing and advertising in the cartoon or children’s entertainment culture… but it should be mentioned that Yale’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity actually has put together some meaningful studies over the past couple of years.

    Last summer, their researchers published a correlation between television programming, unhealthy food advertising, and the priming effects the two have on the eating behavior of kids aged six- to twelve-years-old (Health Psychology (Vol. 28, Is. 4)). Honestly, this study from the previous year has far deeper implications than the currently ballyhooed item, but that’s just my opinion.

  • Steve Gattuso

    It will now be required that cartoon characters be placed on packages of broccoli & brussels sprouts.

  • John

    Well Popeye does have his own brand of Spinach.

  • Robert Barker

    Hey, I tried Spinach in the 1960s because of Popeye, even though there was that cartoon where his nephews hate it. And I liked it! Cartoon character endorsement didn’t make me stick with a product, though. I tried Trix, but I didn’t like them.

  • Rooniman

    Somehow, I would like to think so.

  • bob

    Since when is this New news?

  • Cyber Fox

    Why not show the kids who did took part of this b/s study the “Soopergoop” cartoon and then they will change their minds

  • Well duh.

    Everyone knows that the character shaped Kraft Macaroni & Cheese has always tasted better than the regular elbow macaroni. The cheese:pasta ratio is perfection.

  • Adam

    Adding to the Popeye references, I believe using the characters for healthier foods does work. The Popeye cartoons in the 1930’s alone saved the Spinach Inudstry during the depression.

  • Pedro Nakama

    Well then get me a pack of Camels!

  • Tory

    Meh, I don’t buy it. They have an affection for the characters but the Dora cereal, Princess cereal, etc are rubbish and most kids agree. And aside from Pac-Man pasta, most of the cartoon themed pastas tasted worse than regular canned pasta. The quality of the cereal, the sweetness is key. If the cartoon character is aligned with a good cereal like Fruity Pebbles then it would be a success. No popular cartoon character based cereal lasted longer than that and new ones never are flying off the shelves because they taste like trash, not enough sugar. Smurf Berries and Strawberry
    Shortcake Cereal were pretty good. I still have a coupon for Donkey Kong’s Cereal. Our licensed cereals need more sweet sugary goodness.

  • Disney actually stays away from unhealthy snack endorsements.