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TV's Emote Control
E-Mail Bag: Cartoons in the Produce Aisles
Last week's item about cartoon characters on fresh fruit and vegetables brought mixed e-mail from readers. Some think it will help them persuade their kids to eat healthy foods. Others think it's a clever, insidious way to reach future consumers.
Natasha of Palo Alto, Calif., writes, "Sponge Bob on carrots is a freak of nature--better not to draw the wrong conclusions from this odd convergence of cartoon and produce. Stick to the fundamentals: Advertising to children is no good."
Michele of Ijamsville, Md., is less concerned. "I think it will help a little, as my 5 year old is attracted to cartoon characters," she writes. "However, he is also smart enough now and has been taught that all these cartoon characters are a ploy to get Mom and Dad to buy the product."
"Do 14-year-old boys want to go to school with a Minnie Mouse banana in their lunch?" asks Jim Prevor, who comments on the perishable food industry in his Perishable Pundit blog. Prevor thinks Kroger and Disney should follow their marketing deals with research to see if they work. "Then we could have some real data about what works for selling healthy fresh produce to children and getting them to consume it," he writes. "That would be a truly magical day."