Nestlé changes child advertising tact
Weighing into the child obesity debate, Nestlé, the Swiss-based food manufacturer, is to cut the sugar content of some of its most popular childrens’ foods, as a part of its ‘Global Marketing to Children Principles’ initiative that is about to be released.
Among the products to be reformulated is the renowned Milo brand, with the company reporting it will stamp out advertising to children of products that do not meet a set nutritional profile.
All products will be analysed and, if they cannot meet the new set of nutritional guidelines, they will not be promoted to children.
The list of products that Nestlé has established will no longer advertise to children will include: Uncle Toby’s Fruit Roll Ups, Country Cup Noodlers Alphabet Chicken Soup, Nestlé Stars In-cred-i Bites and Wonka Bertie Beetle.
“What we, our food technology will drive us towards is finding ways of reducing those things over time, but still retain taste. Without taste the consumer is just simply not interested in buying anything,” Ian Alwill, Nestlé Australia’s marketing manager, explained on ABC local radio.
“It’s fairly clear that in order to have a positive outcome with our products in the community, that improved nutritional standards need to be achieved.”
There have been calls for a ban on food advertising to children, though the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) released a draft report in August recommending no general restrictions on food and beverage advertising.
The ACMA is, however, proposing to strengthen certain provisions regulating advertising to children. These proposals would further restrict the use of licensed characters, popular personalities and celebrities to promote and endorse products immediately before, during and after ‘C’ and ‘P’ periods. They would also clarify rules for premium offers, such as toys offered with food and beverage purchases.
A report in The Australian also indicates that Nestlé’s global initiative is being led by its Australian division, though the company has been seeking to position itself as a world leader in health and wellness over recent years with the assistance of recent acquisitions such as Jenny Craig.