Youngsters say they like the taste of a breakfast cereal more when there's a popular character on the box, a small study indicates. CTV
But worry not. The social engineers have been hard at work to correct this, with some success apparently.
Vaala said the kids sampled the same cereal from one of four boxes -- labelled either "Healthy Bits" or "Sugar Bits," and with or without penguins from the movie "Happy Feet" shown on the box.
The product was an organic crunch cereal with six grams of sugar per serving that was likely to be unfamiliar to the children by sight and taste.
"They all tasted the same cereal, and the results showed that when there was no character on the box, children who saw the 'healthy' cereal box liked the taste more than children who saw the sugary cereal box with no character," Vaala said.
"So we thought this is a positive, favourable finding that these health cues, these messages for kids to eat healthy foods, seems to be resonating ... However, when there was a character on the box, these health cues didn't matter. Children liked the cereal a lot, regardless of whether the cereal sounded healthy or unhealthy."