The headline is really catchy “9 Out of 10 Children Not Getting Enough Fiber in Their Diet”…. So I clicked the link. It turns out that Kellogg’s is promoting more fiber for children. Sounds like a good topic… Until I went through the press release and campaign website where I encountered a surprising number of questions.
1) Why target moms only?
Kellogg’s is promoting its cereal to mothers.
A company the size of Kellogg’s most probably conducted extensive market research that indicated that ‘mothers’ are the target market for this campaign. It appears that women still dominate when it comes to household purchasing power, though the number of men “bringing home the bacon, literally” is increasing. And so the question, “Do Women Really Control 80% of Household Spending?” is extremely relevant. As an article from the Wall Street Journal shows, year after year the number of men who are principal household shoppers in the U.S. is growing.
Having an acute focus and targeted market on one hand is a good textbook marketing strategy. However, on the other hand, Kellogg’s should be cautious as not to get pigeon holed when household demographics are changing year after year. According to ChildStats.gov children between ages 0-17 living in various family arrangements (2012): 68% two parents, 28% one parent, 4% with other. So Kellogg’s does not want to ostracize families where the mother is not the primary caregiver and/or decision-maker when it comes to a child’s health and nutrition.
2) How many grams of fiber per day for children? How much?
Kellogg’s should be very cautious in their wording that their breakfast cereals only provide a percentage of the daily fiber intake for children.
“That’s why our cereals can be a tasty source of fiber and provide the whole grains your kids need. Kellogg’s® Froot Loops®, Apple Jacks® and Mini-Wheats® have between 3 and 6 grams of fiber, making them a good to excellent way to get the recommended daily amount of fiber that kids love.”
The average person might interpret the messaging above to mean that the cereal provides the recommended daily amount of fiber… which is not the case. It is eye opening how much fiber a child actually should be consuming. According to KidsHealth from Nemours:
- Toddlers age 1-3 years should get 19 grams of fiber each day
- Children 4-8 years should get 25 grams of fiber a day
- Older boys age 9-13 years should get 31 grams
- Teen boys age 14-18 years should get 38 grams per day
- Older girls and teens should get 26 grams of fiber a day.
There are a variety of high fiber foods that can be consumed daily to meet children’s needs.
3) How do you spell “breakfast”? What is “anutrition”?
I saved the best for last… The actual website is full of spelling errors…. Can you trust a brand that cannot spell breakfast and nutrition to provide children with breakfast and nutrition?
A company like Kellogg’s spending on a campaign to launch a website, put out a press release etc. should have the capabilities to double check their campaign site before going live. If there are errors on a website where else can there be errors? If an applicant to the Kellogg Company had a resume with spelling errors would they be hired? Guessing that person’s resume would get overlooked. So why should a consumer not overlook Kellogg’s?
Overall, this is a disappointing campaign from Kellogg’s using a “health concern” in a way that does not empower mothers or children.