2022-04-22: The original of this post suffers from a not-entirely-unusual level of linkrot, but I know what I read and copied and pasted. In digging, I did find this: Disney Consumer Products To Showcase New Produce Selection At Fresh Summit, which suggests that in three years, Disney themed food tripled sales. From a very low base, obviously. And frankly, I’m too weary and disheartened to dig any further.
I’ve read some snobby bloggers who sneer at things like Disney labeled apples, but if it helps kids eat something good for them, who cares? Sure, it would be better if they just ate it without the ad, but I’ll take what I can get when it comes to healthy child bodies and brains.
Well, maybe. First off, I’d like to see the evidence, and preferably from a source unattached either to The Walt Disney Co. or Imagination Farms,1 which actually undertakes the messy business of creating Disney Garden vegetables.2 I assume that Imagination Farms wouldn’t be in business if it weren’t able to turn a profit on Disney-themed fruit and vegetables, but I have not been able to find anything much in the way of financial information, most likely because I don’t know how or where to look.3 I [did find this]
“We’re doing it predominantly because it is the right thing to do, but secondarily because it is the right business to be in,” said Harry Dollman, head of food products licensing for Disney.
“Concerns about the right nutrition for kids is not a fad; it’s not something that will be overtaken by another trend,” he said.
Neither Disney nor Imagination Farms would discuss terms of the deal.
I really would like to be able to follow the money. Is Imagination Farms paying Disney for the right to put stickers on food? I expect so. Is Disney-themed food cheaper or more expensive than the generic stuff? If it is more expensive, could parents get the same uptake by simply bribing their children with cash? Would it pay parents to bribe their kids anyway, because in the longer term it might save on doctors bills? Could parents on their own come up with better ways to get their children to eat more fruit and veg than the “[favorite ideas]
http://www.i-farms.com/parents_info.asp” so lovingly crafted by Imagination Farms?
These are important questions. I stand ready to abandon my principles and take industry’s money to answer them.
Careful if you click; the site makes loud noises, unbidden. ↩
Snobby quote alert: Sample offerings: "Disney Garden Foodles, which will be combinations of fruits, vegetables and other sides like dips, raisins, crackers or cheese in a Mickey Mouse-shaped tray, and Disney Garden Fresh Veggies & Sauce, which will be cut vegetables with a pouch of specially formulated sauce which can be microwaved. ↩
And don't say Google. You try searching for “Disney apple” and see what you come up with. ↩