Friday, June 15, 2007

Major nutrition and advertising changes at Kellogg

This week Kellogg bowed to ongoing pressure from advocacy groups who believe that cereal companies are wrongly targeting children with unhealthy cereals. The company announced:

1. It will cease advertising to children under 12 unless the cereal meets certain nutritional guidelines for calories, sugar, fat and sodium, and

2. It will cease using licensed characters or branded toys to promote unhealthy cereals.

In addition, Kellogg will introduce new front-of-package labeling to clearly state the cereal's nutritional values.

These are profound changes that could dramatically alter both Kellogg's cereals and marketing. It is a shift that could also change the place of cereal within our larger culture.

Under these new voluntary guidelines, some cereals often targeted to children meet the nutritional standards, while others don't. For example, Frost Flakes (and the Tony the Tiger) are safe. But, an old standard like Rice Krispies is not (too much sodium). This could mean the end of the Snap, Crackle and Pop characters, let alone Toucan Sam, and Dig 'Em.

I understand the rationale for the changes and the pressure put on companies like Kellogg. I hope that with all these changes we do not lose the "fun" aspect of cereal, since breakfast cereal is much more than just another food in our society.


Technorati Tags: , , , ,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My impression was that they could still use their own licensed characters, but wouldn't use other ones. Like they wouldn't use the Disney character du jour or anything. I hope so, because Snap, Crackle and Pop are sacred.