Foodwatch: advertising lies in children's food

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Foodwatch exposes "most perfidious advertising strategies of food manufacturers"

The consumer protection organization Foodwatch annually awards the "golden cream puff" for particularly "brazen advertising stitches for children's food". This year, products from the food manufacturer Dr. Oetker, Ehrmann, Wild, Funnyfrisch and Nestlé nominated, on which consumers can vote online.

Advertising strategies for sweets and snacks for children "Children are the target of the most perfidious weaving strategies of food manufacturers," explains Oliver Huizinga, food advertising expert at Foodwatch. "Companies are using all means to avoid the influence of parents and to fix children for those products that promise the highest profit margins." And that is exactly what sweets and snacks are.

For the fifth time already, Foodwatch has awarded the negative price "golden cream puff" for particularly brazen advertising mesh. Last year, almost 130,000 consumers voted for the food manufacturer Hipp. In 2011 the negative award went to Ferrero, 2010 to Zott and 2009 to Danone.

This year the consumer protection organization presented products from the manufacturers Wild / SiSi-Werke, Ehrmann, Dr. Oetker, Funnyfrisch and Nestlé to choose from. The product Capri-Sonne by Wild / SiSi-Werke was nominated by Foodwatch for "school marketing and sports fraud". "For the water-sugar-aroma mixture with a bit of fruit juice, manufacturer Wild relies on the proximity to sport," says Foodwatch. The company addresses children at sponsored sporting events and even awards its own swimming badge. In addition, the Capri Sun manufacturer distributes teaching material that is adorned with the brand logo and contains tasks related to the product. This indirect advertising would circumvent the parents, reports the consumer organization.

Wild / SiSi-Werke rejects the allegations regarding the sugar content of Capri-Sonne criticized by Foodwatch. “Many children like Capri sun. However, they are rarely buyers of drinks, ”the company said. Rather, it is the mothers who would buy Capri-Sun primarily in the supply pack. Foodwatch deliberately avoided comparing Capri sun with other fruit juices, but instead with cola. "Fruit juice also has a sugar content of ten percent," says the manufacturer. Another product from Wild / SiSi-Werke, the "Bio-Schorly" was not mentioned, although this was rated "very good" by Ökotest 2012. "These products contain 60 percent fruit and 40 percent water, no other ingredients," explains the company. In this way, the “Bio-Schorly” also does justice to critical consumers.

Foodwatch criticizes "Marketing of sugar-coated products as toys" Monster-Backe Knister von Ehrmann has been nominated by Foodwatch "for the marketing of sugar-coated products as toys". The manufacturer is doing everything possible to "market sugar-coated products as toys," reports the consumer protection organization. Due to the “crackling, bubbling or tongue coloring applications”, “fun and action yoghurt” quickly forgot that it contained eight pieces of sugar cubes per 135 gram cup and was therefore to be regarded as a candy. Ehrmann rejected the allegations, according to the "Süddeutsche Zeitung": "If you eat a balanced diet, you can reward yourself with something special."

The "Pom-Bear" from "Funnyfrisch" was also nominated by the consumer advocates for the "golden cream puff". The product is "a prime example of hypocritical advertising restrictions". Because the manufacturer has imposed “a self-restriction for responsible marketing” that excludes advertising for under 12 year olds. Exceptions would only be made for products with special nutritional properties. "According to Funnyfrisch's creative definition" this applies to the greasy-salty Pom Bear snack with 2.5 percent salt and 28 percent fat, according to Foodwatch. Pom-Bär thus contains more than five times as much salt and twice as much fat as French fries from the fast food provider McDonald’s. Funnyfrisch has not yet commented on the nomination of Foodwatch.

Foodwatch exposes "sugar rake tricks"
The "Paula" pudding from Dr. Oetker was nominated for the "digital child catch" for the negative price. The "cow spot" pudding contains 13 percent sugar and thus more than the manufacturer's chocolate pudding, according to Foodwatch. In addition, Dr. A real material battle for Oetker: "From ringtones to an iPhone app to online karaoke to memorize the Paula children's rap from the commercial". There are also internet games such as the "spot hunt". The manufacturer rejects all allegations. “Basically we would like to point out that Paula is a pudding. As such it is clearly declared and as such it is advertised. It is a sweet dessert, neither a candy nor a product with added health value, ”says a press release from Dr. Oetker. The company regards advertising and marketing as "an indispensable part of society". Children and adolescents would have to be empowered to deal with the advertising surrounding them and to assess them correctly.

The "Nestlé Kosmostars" were nominated by Foodwatch for "sugar rake tricks". Because Nestlé says the product contains “less than 9 grams of sugar per serving”. According to the Foodwatch, the group calculates just 30 grams for one serving. "In fact, there are 25 percent sugar in the Kosmostars, more than in butter biscuits, for example," reports the consumer protection organization. Accordingly, the "sugar reduction program" only "brought an improvement from far too much to much too much". Nestlé has not yet commented on this.

Children are addressed directly with brazen advertising bags Foodwatch wants to draw attention to the topic of "children's food" this year by choosing the bravest advertising bag for children's food. The food industry is still not held responsible for the wrong development of child nutrition. Foodwatch had already proven in 2012 that "three quarters of the industrial products targeted to children are sweet and fatty snacks". The food industry is reinforcing this development by advertising for almost exclusively unhealthy products. The parents would be deliberately circumvented by directly addressing the children in schools and sports clubs, for example.

Numerous studies confirm that overweight (obesity) affects more and more children. Being overweight is considered to be one of the main risk factors for cardiovascular diseases such as coronary artery disease and heart attack. (sb)

Also read:
Genetic maize led to rapid death in rats
Foodwatch: A lot of sugar in children's breakfast cereals
Schoolchildren: More performance through breakfast
Structured daily routine protects against overweight
Healthy breakfast for more concentration

Image: Martina Friedl /

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