A mom asks Stonyfield Organic: 'Why can't yogurt just be yogurt?'

by: 

David Monahan

CCFC supporter Tanya Palacio sent this photo of Stonyfield yogurt with a Dinotrux ad 

We are constantly reminded of the role our supporters play in opposing exploitive practice of child-targeted marketing. Here is another example.

Tanya Palacio, a CCFC supporter from Silver Spring, Maryland, was upset to see Disney and DreamWorks’ characters on the Stonyfield Organic yogurt she purchases for her kids. She shared with us this email she sent to Stonyfield:

Our family have been long time customers of your yogurt (and milk). I have a 5 year old and a 2 year old. Your company’s philosophy about making organic healthy food really resonates with me. However, I see that you are now having Disney advertisements on your yogurt. It's disappointing to see a wholesome company succumb to marketing to children. Your product is awesome and you don't need Disney or DreamWorks to sell it. Now when my kids eat your yogurt they are asking about Frozen and the Transformers. Why can’t yogurt just be yogurt? I am a member of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. It’s an organization that strives to keep marketers from advertising to children. Children and parents are just looked upon as consumers. Every opportunity is used to get us to buy something. This practice of putting advertisements on children’s products is disheartening to me. So our options are to remove the yogurt from the container before giving it to our children or simply find another brand.

We could not have said it better ourselves! It’s sad that Stonyfield puts profits from these corporate partners ahead of the welfare of kids, who are vulnerable to these enticements to buy toys and see movies.

Tanya told me, “I hope they are receptive to my comments and make a change.” We hope so, too. Because, as Tanya reminds us, no child should be forced to consume ads along with their yogurt. 

Comments

I heartily disagree with the conclusion

Thanks for the article, I did find it interesting. But I heartily disagree with the conclusion.

"It’s sad that Stonyfield puts profits from these corporate partners ahead of the welfare of kids...." Stoneyfield is a for profit company. If I were a shareholder, or even just an employee, isn't company profitability the primary business goal? The author argues that their practice is harmful to kids vulnerable to marketing. Kids, while the eaters of the product, are not in fact the purchasers of the product. Adults practice free will.

"...no child should be forced to consume ads along with their yogurt." I find this statement ludicrous because it removes all sense of choice/responsibility from the consumer. The mother stated the obvious solution herself inside her very letter to the company, "So our options are to remove the yogurt from the container before giving it to our children or simply find another brand." YES. The yogurt shelves are packed with competitors.

Conformity is NOT Logic

Another mom:

Although Stonyfield is a for-profit company, its target market is families who want alternatives to commercial foods containing unhealthful ingredients such as GMOs, artificial colors and flavors, et cetera. Many (not all) of these families want their children to have limited exposure to commerical mass culture: for example, "you can see the movie once in the theatre, but we're not buying any of the licensed toys or clothing, or the video." Some of these families don't want their children to have any exposure to commercial mass culture at all, at least until they are old enough to engage in critical thinking, what some religions call "the age of reason." By placing characters and/or advertising on their children's yogurt packaging, Stonyfield risks alienating a significant portion of their target market.

2.) Why do parents purchase yogurt marketed to children? Since the flavors are not usually very different from standard flavors, the primary reason is probably for use in children's packed lunches. Are there any child-sized single-serving yogurts that do NOT have characters or advertising on the packaging? When brands in a particular product category are as limited and (in some ways) similar as mobile-phone companies, parents cannot simply select another brand to avoid an industry-wide problem. At home, however, you are correct: it is certainly easier to give children a few spoonfuls of yogurt from a family-size container.

Advertising to Children

To "I heartily disagree with the conclusion":
Are you saying you heartily believe in advertising to children because that it makes a profit? The "goal" for every shareholder or employee is for the company to make a profit in any way they can? Nice. Obvious you live for money. So sad. Well, your not alone. The majority of Americans are just as lost as you.

Stonyfield Yoghurt

Since 2003 Stonyfield are 80% owned by French Food giant Danone. Once a big corporate cherry picks and buys an innovative company then alas this is to be expected. Especially one with a strong "caring position". May I suggest it is time too search out a wholesome brand where the profit goes to those who are like minded with the ethos u seek instead of part of a multi national conglomerate whose sole purpose is to increase revenue for shareholders at any cost. Voting with our money is the way to go.

ads on yogurt

With this packaging, this will just become yet another product I ignore on the supermarket shelf. I already rarely bought it because it has junk like "inulin" in it, because the food "engineers" can't stop meddling with it. Consumers today want fewer ingredients, not more. Just make yogurt, maybe with some fruit or other flavors.

Why can't yogurt just be yogurt?

Hi,

I've found another example of this but not a premium organic yogurt range. This makes it not quite so easy to complain about but nonetheless . . .

I can only find it being sold in the UK after looking on the internet after a visit to a supermarket near London.

Anyway the values of CCFC are just as useful in other places!

Here - 'Frubes' by Yoplait - https://angrybirds.frubes.co.uk/

Has anyone come across this brand?

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