Marketing to kids glut in restaurants, stores, raises concerns

by Anna Munhin Mar 21, 2023 News
Marketing to kids glut in restaurants, stores, raises concerns

CNW GroupCNW Group

Negative impact on children's health is warned in a new report.

According to new research from the University of Waterloo, point-of-sale locations like grocery stores, restaurants and corner stores are often used to market food and beverages to children. Food and beverage companies use a number of tactics to market their products to children according to a report.

New report warns of negative impact on marketing to kids on children’s health. (CNW Group/Heart and Stroke Foundation)

The author of the report said that they were astonished to see the pervasiveness of marketing to kids in stores and restaurants. We were surprised by the wide range of techniques used by food and beverage marketers.

Data was collected from 11 regions across eight provinces and two territories. The use of child themes and designs was the most popular marketing technique. According to Dr. Minaker, marketers use bright colors, images and other design elements that are associated with children, like magic, adventure and zoo animals. A third of beverage fridges and two thirds of ice cream fridges featured these themes.

According to the report, children are exposed to a lot of advertising for food and drinks that are not good for them. Outside of stores and restaurants, half of the ads used at least one child- directed marketing technique. There are displays in the middle of the aisles with child themes. Nine of these displays are found in most stores.

Store checkouts are a good place to market to kids because items are displayed at a child's eye level. The placement encourages 'pester power', which is when a child tries to get their parents to make a purchase. The report found that almost all stores had gum and candy at the checkout, while only a small percentage of stores had fruit or vegetables.

Marketing to children leads to increased consumption of junk food and drinks. Children in Canada get more calories from ultra-processed foods than any other age group.

The CEO of Heart & Stroke says that food marketers don't have kid'shealth at heart. The high proportion of child-directed marketing observed in both stores and restaurants in this Canadian research shows that policies aimed to restrict marketing of healthy food and beverages to kids should include point-of-sale locations.

There is about heart and stroke.

It's life. We want you to be present. For 70 years, the fight to beat heart disease and stroke has been led by Heart and Stroke. We need the next medical breakthrough so Canadians don't miss out. We are working together to prevent disease, save lives and promote recovery. There is a website called

The source of the information is the Heart and stroke Foundation.


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