This week the Consumerist, BoingBoing, and the Impulsive Buy covered the introduction of Kellogg's new Froot Loops Cereal Straws, which sweeten the milk children drink as it passes through the straw, in order to achieve the same effect as the sweetened milk left at the bottom of a bowl of Fruit Loops.
Here are the ingredients and nutrition information for the new product, from the Kellogg website:
Ingredients: WHEAT FLOUR, SUGAR, VEGETABLE OIL (PALM, SHEANUT, AND COTTONSEED OILS), MALTODEXTRIN, FRUCTOSE, NONFAT MILK, CONTAINS TWO PERCENT OR LESS OF GLUCOSE SYRUP, EGGS, SOY LECITHIN, SALT, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, PGPR (POLYGLYCEROL POLYRICINOLEIC ACID), NATURAL ORANGE, LEMON, LIME AND OTHER NATURAL FLAVORS, YELLOW #6, RED #40, YELLOW #5, NIACINAMIDE, BLUE #1, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B6), TOCOPHEROLS FOR FRESHNESS, RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2), THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B1), SESAME FLOUR, VITAMIN B12, VITAMIN D.Each serving of three straws provides 140 calories, including 12g of sugar and 3.5g of fat, including 2g of saturated fat (10% of the daily value).
Look at the image and ask yourself if the target audience is parents or if this product is being marketed directly to children. We'll keep an eye on the height of grocery store shelf placement for this product.
I can't criticize the folks who praised the earlier Kellogg announcement. They face difficult decisions in assessing what battles are winnable. But this example does illustrate well the limits of voluntary corporate self-restraint.
[Update 6/30: Corrected spelling from "Fruit Loops" to "Froot Loops." Also, see the observant comment by Kati of preschoolrock, who points out how precisely the clever food scientists walked the limits of the Kellogg agreement in their lab work for this new product.]