Home > Publications . Search All . Browse All . Country . Browse PSC Pubs . PSC Report Series

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Pfeffer says housing bubble masked decade-long growth in household net worth inequality

House, Burgard, Schoeni et al find that unemployment and recession have contrasting effects on mortality risk

Smock says cohabitation does not reduce odds of marriage

Highlights

Jeff Morenoff makes Reuters' Highly Cited Researchers list for 2014

Susan Murphy named Distinguished University Professor

Sarah Burgard and former PSC trainee Jennifer Ailshire win ASA award for paper

James Jackson to be appointed to NSF's National Science Board

Next Brown Bag


PSC Brown Bags will return in the fall

Visual communication to children in the supermarket context: Health protective or exploitive?

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Berry, Brent, and T. McMullen. 2008. "Visual communication to children in the supermarket context: Health protective or exploitive?" Agriculture and Human Values, 25(3): 333-348.

In light of growing concerns about obesity, Winson (2004, Agriculture and Human Values 21(4): 299-312) calls for more research into the supermarket foodscape as a point of connection between consumers and food choice. In this study, we systematically examine the marketing of ready-to-eat breakfast cereals to children in Toronto, Ontario supermarkets. The supermarket cereal aisle is a relatively unstudied visual collage of competing brands, colors, spokes-characters, and incentives aimed at influencing consumer choice. We found that breakfast cereal products with higher-than-average levels of sugar, refined grains, and trans-fats are more likely to feature child-oriented marketing in the form of spokes-characters, themed cereal shapes/colors, and child incentives on cereal boxes. These forms of visual communication are consistent with a "health exploitive" pattern of targeted marketing to children in the supermarket setting. Only one aspect of visual communication is consistent with a "health protective" pattern of marketing to children-cereals shelved within reach of children aged 4-8 had less sugar per serving and were less likely to contain trans-fats than less reachable products. We discuss the implications of our findings for the measurement and regulation of marketing to children in North American supermarkets.

DOI:10.1007/s10460-007-9110-0 (Full Text)

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next