Wednesday 29 January 2020

Cartoon animals to be culled from Lidl’s sugary cereals in bid to reduce 'pester power'

The old Crownfield Choco Rice from Lidl featured a cartoon monkey
The old Crownfield Choco Rice from Lidl featured a cartoon monkey

Shawn Pogatchnik and Gabija Gataveckaite

LIDL says it’s banishing cartoon animals from the boxes of its own-brand cereals to help parents make more nutritious choices and avoid “pester power” when shopping with their kids.

The move means that seven of its cereal brands featuring chocolate, honey and frosted sugar - including the monkey on Choco Rice, the bee on Honey Hoops and the alligator on Rice Snaps - will all be cartoon-free by the spring.

Ciara Sheehan, social responsibility manager at Lidl Ireland, billed this as a parallel initiative alongside Lidl’s existing commitment to cut sugar content by 20pc in 350 of its own-brand products, including the cereals.

The move follows rising criticism in the UK and US of food retailers’ use of licenced cartoon and movie characters to make unhealthy foods more appealing to children.

The new Lidl cereal packaging will not feature any cartoons.
The new Lidl cereal packaging will not feature any cartoons.

Ms Sheehan said losing the animal branding would help to reduce “pester power” from nagging children attracted by the cartoons.

“We want to help parents across Ireland make healthy and informed choices about the food they buy for their children. This latest move underpins our commitment to helping customers lead healthier lives,” she said.

The seven cereal products losing their cartoon branding all are sold under Lidl’s in-house label Crownfield. They include the lions, pandas and penguins that have featured on the boxes of Crownfield Frosted Flakes, Choco Hoops and Choco Shells.

In February 2019, Lidl Ireland announced that over 850 of its own brand products are being reviewed to reduce the sugar content in its products by 20pc.

This decision has come on the back of the introduction of the sugar tax in March 2018,which saw retailers and soft drink altering recipes of their products in order to avoid the new sugar tax.

The tax sees 30 cent per litre added onto sweetened drinks that have over 8g of sugar per 100ml.

Drinks with a sugar content of between 5-8g per 100ml are taxed at 20 cent per litre.

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