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Lidl's animated appeal: boosting healthy choices with kid-centric packaging

In a recent initiative, Lidl witnessed a notable uptick in the sales of its Oaklands Funsize fresh produce assortment. This growth, marking an over one-third increase since 2017, is credited to the revamped packaging designs. By incorporating catchy names and animated characters, the brand has made these products more enticing for the younger audience.

Peter de Roos, Lidl GB's top commercial executive, shared the company's vision of ensuring everyone has access to nutritious, high-quality food.

While competitive pricing remains their cornerstone, Lidl GB acknowledges the need to overcome other challenges. Feedback from parents pinpointed that certain packaging designs were less conducive to promoting healthier food choices among children.

Setting a trend in the UK supermarket sector, Lidl GB employed the 'pester power' marketing strategy, aiming to inspire kids to opt for more greens. A 2020 research initiative by Food Active and the Children’s Food Campaign discovered that a whopping 91% of parents felt that unique names and animated designs on packaging resonated with kids.

This allure was consistent across products, be it a sweet delicacy or a nutritious vegetable. The research further underscored the significant role of packaging in shaping a buyer's choice, with character-themed branding especially influencing young consumers.

However, not all impacts of this strategy were positive. A significant 68% of parents felt that such animated characters on packaging posed challenges in steering their kids towards healthier eating habits.

Responding to this, Lidl took a decisive step in 2020, phasing out animated characters from its cereal brand packaging, a move that garnered appreciation from health groups like Action on Sugar.

In a forward-thinking move, Lidl declared its intention to phase out animated characters from all its products deemed less healthy by spring 2024. This change is set to span over 14 diverse product categories, including snacks and confectioneries, with a makeover planned for a minimum of 30 products.

Meanwhile, Lidl's fresh produce range for kids, adorned with imaginative names like Banana-Llamas and Koala Pears, continues to thrive. A competition to coin such catchy names resulted in a surge in sales, with an impressive quarter of a million additional units sold within a year.

Lidl GB remains optimistic that their industry peers will embrace similar approaches, emphasising the transformative potential of such tweaks. The ultimate aim is to empower parents in fostering healthier eating habits for the next generation.


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