Cartoon characters ‘affect taste’ of cereal

LICENSED cartoon characters on food packaging affect children’s taste assessments, according to US research. 

University of Pennsylvania researchers studied 80 children, average age five, who tasted the same nutritious but sugary cereal from four professionally created cereal boxes. 

Children who saw a popular character on the box, such as the penguins Mumble and Gloria from the movie Happy Feet, reported liking the cereal more than those who viewed a box with no characters. 

Surprisingly, those children who were told the cereal was called Healthy Bits liked the taste more than those who were told it was Sugar Bits.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2011; 165:229-234