There is a war on for your child’s mind every time you set down the cereal aisle
April 7, 2014
Cap’n Crunch, the Trix rabbit, and Count Chocula are colluding against your children.
In addition to being loaded with unholy amounts of sugar, the cold breakfast cereals most American children enjoy are actually conducting covert psychological operations on them, according to researchers at Cornell University.
“In a study of 65 cereals in 10 different grocery stores in New York and Connecticut, Cornell researchers found that cereals marketed to kids are placed half as high on supermarket shelves as adult cereals—about 23 inches for kids compared with 48 inches for adult cereal,” CBS Chicago reports.
The study also found that cereal manufacturers position the eyes of their spokes-characters to look downward at an average angle of about 9.6 degrees in order to establish eye contact with children, whereas characters on adult cereal boxes look straight.
Additionally, researchers discovered that people who perceive eye contact from said characters are 16 percent more likely to develop loyalty towards certain brands.
So, while parents decide which cereal will best replenish the pantry, these companies are busy psychologically manipulating children to buy their products.
“If you are a parent who does not want your kids to go cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs’ avoid taking them down the cereal aisle,” Cornell Food and Brand Lab researchers concluded.
On the other hand, researcher Brian Wansink says, “well-meaning companies that want people to eat better, what they can do is take kids’ cereals and use the same thing to make healthy cereals more compelling to kids. Put Scooby-Doo on a healthy cereal and have Scooby look right at them.”