(Third of three parts)
Kellogg’s does not limit the aggressive marketing of Froot Loops Cereal Straws to the packaging and website. The game continued when I called Kellogg’s and spoke with Grace, a customer service representative.
Rob: “I’m calling about the Froot Loops Cereal Straws. I don’t understand them."
Grace: “It’s like a little snack, mainly for a child.”
R: “For a child? I took one bite about three hours ago and I am still flying.”
G: “The product itself contains sugar; it’s the second ingredient. Do you find it a little bit too sweet?”
R: “That would be an understatement.”
G: “Well, I eat a lot of sweets and I like them. They taste just like the cereal.”
R: “Do you have any children?”
G: “Yes, I have a 6-month-old.”
R: “Are you going to give this to your kid?”
G: “Not yet, but maybe when she gets a little older, like when she is a year. I don’t see why not.”
A lot of parents tell me their kids want certain products. I hear the argument that conceding is one way of avoiding tantrums, especially from an older child who knows what he wants.
But does a 1-year-old really know that he wants a Froot Loops Cereal Straw? By giving this to her baby, Grace will potentially condition her baby’s palate to the tastes of junk “food.” As the child grows, her taste buds will need the saltiness, sweetness and contrived textures found in processed and packaged products.