Realizing that the marketing of sugary cereals to children is becoming increasingly unpopular, Kellogg
In a press release yesterday, Kellogg announced the creation of a standard by which it can judge what it will and won't market to children younger than 12. Included in the bullet points are requirements that serving sizes must not contain more than 200 calories or more than 230 milligrams of sodium. There are also self-imposed rules about sugar and fat levels.
The concern over marketing carbohydrate-dense candy and fat-laden foods to children has been building up for years. Whether it's from the rise of the Internet or the increase in health-oriented TV channels and programs, people are becoming more conscious of what goes into the things they eat, and they're getting tired of dealing with foods that are bad for them. The trend is only going to expand.
Of course, Kellogg isn't necessarily listening to its corporate conscience. There's been plenty of pressure in the marketplace to make a move like this. According to reports, two parents from Massachusetts and two groups -- the Center for Science in the Public Interest, and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood -- intended on suing both Kellogg and Viacom's
Kellogg's decision is bound to irk those who believe that the choice of ingesting unhealthy products is solely that of the person doing the ingesting, and that when it comes to kids, the responsibility lies with the parental units. Indeed, some complained when pressure came down on McDonald's
I view this as nothing more than the cost of doing business. It's also a way to respond to evolving consumer desires. Since the nation is more health-conscious, Kellogg should change its recipes if it can. It'll be good in the long run for sales.
I watch what I eat these days, and a lot of my choices have indeed been influenced by the new zeitgeist surrounding the demand for better foods. Kraft
The main potential risk I see is if Kellogg cannot properly produce healthier cereals that still pack the taste experience that so many kids crave -- and believe me, I can still remember what my younger self thought of those delicious sugary Frosted Flakes. They were, as a matter of fact, grrrrreat! But I don't think that will be much of a problem -- the company will figure it out.
This current initiative will improve Kellogg's image, which should help its brand equity and thus keep its name strong against competitors such as General Mills
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