The powerful force of character licensing agreements

I see it with my daughter and her friends.  We walk into a store and if Frozen is there, she is immediately obsessed.  The latest is a funny combination - 1) Frozen themed baby wipes at her preschool and 2) Frozen brownie mix at our local market.  Both items she never would have noticed if not for Elsa's long flowing braid and dress.  

So while there has been progress around limiting unhealthy food marketing to kids, I'm continually reminded of the continual pull it has on so many little ones.  

I realized there have been significant changes to characters on TV ads when the other day I saw Tony the Tiger peddling Frosted Flakes.  I thought to myself that I hadn't seen that character in quite some time (perhaps Kellogg's has altered the nutritional profile of the cereal enough that they are using him again? Or maybe I just hadn't noticed Tony on TV...).  It made me think about all the other characters I used to see on TV that have faded from my memory (notwithstanding the internet and other online platforms which I'm sure doesn't target me with children's ads and characters).  Yet at the same time, there continues to be widespread character use on many food items intended for kids.  My clips today provide another example. 

Here's what the Daily Meal points out: "In a review of franchise-related junk foods over the last year from the London-based Children's Food Campaign, the Minions were found to be behind six high-sugar snacks and beverages - measured by products that contained more than 22.5 grams of sugar per 100 grams - including Kinder Surprise, Haribo, and Tic Tacs, as well as three medium-sugar products, which contained between five and 22.5 grams of sugar per 100 gram serving.  A Minions-exclusive Capri Sun flavor called Ban-Apple, was available only with added sugar."  

It's unclear from the story if this marketing is primarily in the UK or also allowed in the U.S. but regardless, kids in any country should be peddled tasty, healthy food by their favorite characters.  At the very least, take a second look at Ban-Apple, which likely is an appropriate name for a "juice drink" containing very little if any fruit.