How’s this for a news flash: Dora the Explorer gummy bears obviously taste better than the same gummy bears in plain packaging.
A recent study conducted by researchers at Yale University found that kids between the ages of 4 and 6 think that foods in cartoon-decorated packages taste better. Only 40 children participated in the survey, but I suspect that the results would not have differed if thousands had taken part. The study used Shrek, Dora and Scooby Doo on packaging. Here’s a sample from the findings, as described on ABC News.
Eighty-five percent of the children in the study opted for the cartoon-decorated graham crackers over the plain-wrapped ones when presented with a choice of snack; 55 percent of them said the cartoon-decorated crackers actually tasted better. For gummy snacks, 85 percent chose the cartoon package over the plain one for a snack and 52 percent of the children thought the snacks in a cartoon-decorated package tasted better.
But researchers were surprised to find cartoons didn’t have as much of an effect on the children’s taste for carrots. Only 50 percent of children thought carrots tasted better from a cartoon-decorated package.
While the study did not indicate this, many times themed-packaged food items are more expensive. They are also attractive to kids, whose laser vision zeroes in on characters and gadgets down every aisle of the grocery store. As a result, many parents, in an effort to avoid a scene with their 4-year-old on aisle 7, throws the item in the basket.
Question: Do you spend more in the grocery store when you’re shopping with your children? If not, how do you avoid doing so?