Are food companies doing enough to market their goods responsibly? Are there particular food products that you feel are marketed to appeal to children or techniques that reel younger punters in?
Last week, some of the world’s biggest food and drink companies, including McDonald’s, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola, signed up to a range of voluntary restrictions on marketing to children under 12.
Pressure from Which? and other groups in previous years has helped to tighten up the way that foods are marketed. There are TV advertising restrictions in place so that foods high in fat, sugar and salt cannot be advertised during programmes of particular appeal to children.
And when the rules were changed to allow product placement in TV programmes for the first time, we successfully called for unhealthy foods and children’s programming to be excluded. But we’re intrigued to hear your views on this a few years on…
I have fond memories of saving up my pocket money as a child to visit our corner shop on ‘treat’ day. My tipple would be a Milky Way bar, Buttons or the classic Boost bar. Perhaps one of my motivations to purchase these items was to be able to shout ‘The Milky Bars are on me’ or to win the Milky Way race:
We didn’t have sweet treats in our house, so the walk to the shop was focused and met with a fanfare of cheers when the chocolate was insight.
In my local corner shop today, those nostalgic foods still exist but I’m presented with a fridge-full (yes, a fridge-full) of energy drinks. Energy drinks are an unfamiliar phenomenon to me, but I now understand they can be an accessory for some school children where I live. The brightly coloured tins, accompanied by alcopop-esque TV advertising seem to have a magnetic appeal to young people.
There are of course plenty of other products out there that create this allure to be consumed. And I’m keen to know what examples you have. Are there particular food products you’ve seen that are marketed to appeal to children? Or ads that you feel are poorly timed to appeal to a younger market?