Learn from the experts!!! Fast food and junk food brands spend millions of dollars searching for best strategies to attract children as customers. These strategies are, as you know, highly effective. Why not learn from them for your own benefit? In our book, Get Your Family Eating Right, Lynn and I identify some of the best strategies that marketers use with kids and give examples of how to turn them around to get your children eating healthy.
One of the big ones is ‘brand loyalty.’ Companies use it to recruit impressionable kids by building playgrounds in their restaurants and giving away toys and prizes. Marketers have learned that if they build an emotional connection with their brand with children, they will remain loyal to them as an adult.
So, how can we use this strategy to our advantage? By delivering special experiences, that create fun and positive memories around healthful food. First Lady Michelle Obama is on this track - she recruited Sesame Street characters for the the produce aisle. It will certainly help parents in the supermarket - read more.
So I decided to take my kids and their friends for a full day in of vegetable harvesting on a farm. La Ferme Viltain, just a few kilometers outside Paris, offers a wide range of fall vegetables for ‘pick your own’ arrangement. City kids are thrilled when handed awheelbarrow and full freedom to run in the fields. They love to play and explore, hand pick tender spinach leaves, or pull vegetable roots. I could see they were attracted to the shapes and vibrant colors of the red beets, purple cabbage, and gigantic black radishes. The youngest ones were delighted just to chase each other around the fields. But I had an ulterior motive: to create a fun, memorable, day associated with radishes, beets, cabbages and other vegetables. Quite the opposite from forcing or pressuring kids to eat them.
Does my nine-year-old son like to eat beets and radishes now? NOPE. Does he hate them? NOPE, but slowly he is associating them with a fun memories. Even if he rejects their taste now, he will be ready to accept them in the near future thanks to the emotional connection he made with them at the farm. This way, I am creating ‘future loyal customers’ within my family for seasonal produce
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