Aldi Süd, Aldi Nord and Lidl are currently revising their marketing strategy for certain products. Photo: www.imago-images.de / Michael Gstettenbauer
According to a study conducted by the Robert Koch Institute between 2014 and 2017, more than 15 percent of children and adolescents between the ages of 3 and 17 are overweight. About six percent of them even suffer from obesity. According to current observations, the situation has worsened in recent years due to the pandemic. According to this, now every fifth child is overweight.
According to commercial health insurance company KKH, obesity is one of the most common chronic diseases among minors. Health consequences such as diabetes or fatty liver are devastating. The causes of childhood obesity are as varied as the effects on the body. On the one hand, young people do not do sports more and more, on the other hand, nutrition plays a big role.
Criticism of children’s products in the supermarket: Aldi draws the consequences
Now supermarkets and discounters want to take charge. Rival Aldi Milk has gone one step further after Lidl already announced it would change its advertising. At the request of the German Press Agency, the company announced that it will change all recipes for children’s products by the end of 2025. These include cereals, yoghurts and soft drinks, the composition of which must now be based on World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations. The company also wants to promote healthy and sustainable food advertising to children.
WHO has long complained that processed foods contain too much salt, sugar and fat. In addition, alternative sweeteners and the generally high calorie content of many products are also subject to criticism. Advertisements, some of which are aimed directly at children, are also considered particularly problematic in this context.
Lidl reacts to the accusations and changes its advertising strategy
As Lidl recently announced, the group will now adjust its advertising on the subject and will no longer sell unhealthy food to children. However, there should be exceptions like Christmas, Easter or Halloween. In addition, Lidl has announced that it wants to change the product design of its brand by the end of 2025. According to this, only products that meet WHO criteria should receive packaging that is attractive to children in the future.
Nestlé advertises its cereal products directly to children with printed animals.Image: imago images/UIG
Like its sister company Aldi Süd, Aldi Nord wants to constantly work on its recipes, taking into account WHO recommendations. In addition, according to their statements, the group has not advertised harmful foods to children for a long time.
Repeat ads for unhealthy snacks under fire
The retail rethink can probably be directly attributed to the criticism various retailers have received in the past. For example, last summer many disliked the Rewe brochure, which praised crisps and chocolate as “delicious companions for everyday school life”.
Also Politics the topic has arrived. Last year, the federal states’ consumer protection ministers called for a ban on junk food advertising for children. The Svetofor government’s coalition agreement also states that in the future there may be no “advertising of foods high in sugar, fat and salt” in programs and formats for children under 14 years of age.