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Rudd Radar

Healthier Versions of Lunchables are Outnumbered and Out of Reach

July 16, 2014

When Kraft Foods joined the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) in 2006, it committed to advertise only healthier dietary choices, including some varieties of Lunchables, directly to children. 

However, a recent report by the Rudd Center examined the nutritional quality and marketing of Kraft Lunchables and found that just five out of 42 varieties meet CFBAI’s nutrition standards for advertising to children. In the supermarket, less nutritious versions of Lunchables outnumber the healthier ones by six to one, and the healthier varieties are most likely to be stocked on the top shelf, above eye level for both children and adults.

In response to the report’s findings, the Rudd Center and the Food Marketing Workgroup today sent a letter to Kraft asking the company to:

• Adopt a comprehensive policy on brand advertising and marketing;

• Update Kraft’s food marketing policy to cover in-store and on-package marketing; and

• Extend Kraft’s marketing policy to cover children ages 12 to 14.

Brand marketing, in-store and on-package marketing, and the exclusion of children ages 12 to 14 as part of company marketing policies are key weaknesses of self-regulation that the Food Marketing Workgroup has been pushing to strengthen.

In addition to sending a letter to Kraft, the Food Marketing Workgroup launched a social media campaign urging followers to share information on how Kraft baits parents by advertising a few healthy brands on TV, then hides those on store shelves among 37 unhealthy varieties containing cookies, sugary drinks and fruit snacks.