Monday, February 23, 2009

Oscar Mayer Lunchables – Marketing Overload

(First of two parts)
Walking the supermarket aisles always leads to new discoveries. This weekend I shelled out $3.49 for a box of Oscar Mayer Lunchables Mini Burgers.

My fiancé took one look at the box and said, “You’re supposed to send yo
ur kid to school with this?”

Kraft wants you to do just that, as evidenced by the slick
website it developed especially for moms. Also, you must check out the Oscar Mayer Lunchables website Kraft created for kids.

The lunches—pizzas, mini hot dogs, mini burgers, cracker stackers, chicken dunks,
etc.—come in a box with a fruit drink and candy (i.e. Skittles, Nestle Crunch, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups).

At the least, these lunches are good for kids’ motor-neuron skills and eye-hand coordination, since assembly of the main course is required. To make a pizza, one takes a pizza crust, tops it with piz
za sauce and then adds the pasteurized prepared mozzarella cheese product.

Remarkably, the lunches can be eaten straight from the box, since they are “fun to eat . . . no need to heat!”

(This reminded me of the time in second grade when Neil Schnelwar and I tried to heat his hamburger—left over from his previous night’s dinner—on the radiator in the cafeteria.)

The marketing is so misguided. On several of these lunches, a “Sensible Solution” flag is present, which alerts us that the “product met specific, better-for-you nutrition criteria.”

While repeating the words “nutrition criteria” out loud, look at the ingredients of the mini hot dog lunch. Who in their right mind could slap a Sensible Solution flag on that?

(Tomorrow: Opening the box of mini burgers)

No comments: