Asda has become the second retailer to remove cartoon characters from its cereals1.

The removal of cereal mascots aims to “reduce pester power and help parents across the UK make informed choices about their children’s diets” said the retailer. It forms part of its “long-term effort to tackle obesity” which includes the removal of over a quarter of the sugar content from its own brand cereals over the past five years and the launch of a new Live Better icon, signposting healthier options across its range.

The news follows a similar announcement from Lidl earlier this year, with the discount store stating that all cartoon characters would be erased from its cereal line-up by spring. 

Asda nutritionist Beth Fowler said: “We understand retailers play a crucial role in helping customers make more informed choices in the supermarket aisles, which is why we’ve taken the step to erase cartoon characters from our own brand cereals.”

Tide turning against advertising flood

Katharine Jenner, nutritionist at Action on Sugar welcomed the move by Asda but called on big brands to do the same. She said: “It feels like the tide is finally turning against the flood of unhealthy food advertised to children.

“Those that don’t swiftly follow suit, especially popular brands, are being negligent. We’re in the midst of a child obesity crisis and companies should be doing all they can to help their customers choose healthy options.

“The government has so far failed to take any action in this area itself, but it can surely now finally step in and underpin tighter advertising restrictions with similar rules for packaging and promotions.”

References

The Grocer. Asda follows Lidl in removing cartoon characters from own-label cereals. 2020.