Kellogg Pulls Immunity Claim From Rice Krispies (USA Today)
Breakfast cereal maker Kellogg had what it thought was a good idea for promoting cereals as being healthy for children since these contain several vitamins that may be good for kids. They liked the idea to the point of adding a large area to their packaging aimed at parents that said the cereal “Supports Your Child’s Immunity.”
Unfortunately what was thought to be a good idea quickly turned to being a problem. The wording not only has critics in an uproar, given that many feel these cereals are not only not nutritious but may be unhealthy (see our post Research Report Has Cereal Marketers Playing Defense), but to make things worse the packaging is hitting store shelves at a time when there is worldwide concern for the H1N1 flu. (Although it is hard to believe some may think eating more Rice Krispies will help prevent a child from contracting the virus!)
Kellogg is far from the only high-profile company saying their products help the “immune system” (see Tropicana’s Orange Juice and Nestle’s Juicy Juice). So expect more reaction to this type of labeling.
With the swine flu virus of paramount concern to parents and children, there is increased sensitivity to any marketing claims that even touch on the topic. At the same time, the nation's foodmakers are being increasingly held accountable by federal regulators for claims.
What would happen if critics not only go after the manufacturers but also take their case to the retailers?
Image by ohdearbarb