Budget supermarket Lidl is set to remove cartoon characters from their own-brand cereal ranges to tackle the UK’s childhood obesity crisis.
Lidl will be removing cartoon characters from eight of its cereal ranges by Spring 2020, to help parents resist ‘pester power’ from children, who might be drawn to characters when in the supermarket.
The supermarket claim they were prompted to take action after almost three quarters of parents revealed their children pressured them to buy unhealthy products when they were shopping with them.
More than half of these parents believed that eye-catching cartoon characters on the packaging encouraged this, as children would be more likely to spot the cereal when browsing the aisles.
Despite their decision to change the packaging, Lidl will not be renaming their own-brand cereals, which often have unhealthy sounding names. Examples of this include Choco Rice, Cereal Cookie and Choco Shells.
However, Lidl says that the sugar content in these cereals have been reduced by 20 per cent over the past four years.
Georgina Hall, Lidl’s head of corporate social responsibility, said, “We want to help parents across Britain make healthy and informed choices about the food they buy for their children. We know pester power can cause difficult battles on the shop floor and we’re hoping that removing cartoon characters from cereal packaging will alleviate some of the pressure parents are under.”
Last year, a survey revealed that many food and drink products in supermarkets had popular cartoon characters such as Peppa Pig on their packaging. Half of these were high in fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt.
Current UK rules state that children cannot be targeted with adverts for products with a high fat, salt and sugar content. In addition to this, licensed characters shouldn’t be used to promote these products in advertising either.