Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Media character use on food packaging appears to influence children's taste assessment

Date:
June 15, 2011
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
The use of media characters on cereal packaging may influence children's opinions about taste, according to a new article.

The use of media characters on cereal packaging may influence children's opinions about taste, according to a report in the March issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

"The use of trade (e.g. Ronald McDonald) and licensed (e.g. Shrek) spokescharacters is a popular marketing practice in child-directed products because the presence of these figures helps children identify and remember the associated product," the authors write as background information in the article. Because children remember nonverbal representations more easily than verbal descriptions, a visual cue such as a character or logo, may help them remember information presented in an advertisement.

Matthew A. Lapierre, M.A., and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, evaluated 80 children between the ages of 4 and 6 years (average age 5.6 years), to determine if using a licensed spokescharacter on food packaging affected children's taste assessment of the cereal. Children were shown boxes of cereal labeled either Healthy Bits or Sugar Bits, with some boxes featuring media characters and some without. Having seen only the box, participants were asked to rate the taste of the cereal on a scale of one to five.

Almost all the children reported liking the cereal, however those who saw a popular media character on the box reported liking the cereal more than those who viewed a box without a character on it. Additionally, those who sampled the cereal named Healthy Bits reported enjoying the cereal more than children who were given the same cereal under the name Sugar Bits. Children receiving the cereal with the name Sugar Bits in a box with no characters on it reported being significantly less satisfied with the taste than those in the other three groups. No significant differences were found among children in the Healthy Bits group based on the presence or absence of characters on the box.

"The results of this experiment provide evidence that the use of popular characters on food products affects children's assessment of taste," the authors conclude. "Messages encouraging healthy eating may resonate with young children, but the presence of licensed characters on packaging potentially overrides children's assessments of nutritional merit."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. A. Lapierre, S. E. Vaala, D. L. Linebarger. Influence of Licensed Spokescharacters and Health Cues on Children's Ratings of Cereal Taste. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 2011; 165 (3): 229 DOI: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2010.300

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Media character use on food packaging appears to influence children's taste assessment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110307161853.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2011, June 15). Media character use on food packaging appears to influence children's taste assessment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110307161853.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Media character use on food packaging appears to influence children's taste assessment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110307161853.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A study suggests that parents become desensitized to violent movies as well as children, which leads them to allow their kids to view violent films. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins