14 August, 2007

How to Get Your Kids to Eat Their Veggies

The concepts of brand awareness and brand loyalty do not just apply to the masses of adults who do things a certain way because that’s the way they like it. Kids are learning quickly the art of sticking to their guns when it comes to their favorites, and now there’s proof.

Kids have their favorite foods (hotdogs, pizza, candy, etc.); they have their favorite toys, blankets, you name it; but now they have their favorite packaging.

For generations, parents have tried everything to force Brussels sprouts down their children’s throats. Today, kids would much rather take a McDonald’s wrapper off their food and sink their teeth into whatever lies beneath – hamburger, fries, apple pie or maybe even carrots.

Lately, McDonald’s has been making an effort to promote better health and eating for today’s youth with low-fat milk, white meat and apples, but what if they could get little Johnny to choke down those greens?

Well according to U.S. researchers, McDonald’s wrappings might just be able to help trick those kids into eating what they have for so long fought against. Ok, that’s not the way they put it, but a new study says 60 percent of the kids between 3 and 5 preferred carrots and other foods when wrapped in McDonald’s packaging, as opposed to those in generic packaging. The catch? There was no difference. The carrots were the same in both packages, yet 60 percent of the kids said that the McDonald’s carrots tasted better.

So, what are we to get from all of this? I say one of two things. 1 – Mc Donald’s is one of the most phenomenal players in the branding world (which is hard to dispute) and we as consumers have let ourselves and our children not only walk into their trap, but walk in with bells and whistles. Or, 2 – it might mean that it is possible to stop forcing vegetables down our kids’ throats and just sit back and watch them stuff it in their own mouths.

Like everything else in life, I guess it depends on how you look at it. Is this a bad thing, or is it a back door to the problem that has faced caring parents for generations? It all comes down to the parents. Either they are willing to let there kids eat anything in a McDonald’s wrapper as long as they eat their vegetables, or they are going to stand strong to the “no dessert until you eat your peas” persuasion.

--Nick Piche, Copywriter

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