Lidl scraps cereal cartoon characters to help parents avoid pester power

Discount supermarket pledges to remove characters from own-label cereal by spring.

Lidl: wants to help 'alleviate some of the pressure parents are under'
Lidl: wants to help 'alleviate some of the pressure parents are under'

Lidl is to remove cartoon characters from its own-label cereal range in the UK in the spring in a move that the discounter says will support parents in resisting "pester power" from children and encourage healthier choices.

The supermarket said three-quarters of parents it asked said they experienced pester power from their children while grocery shopping, with half believing that cartoon characters on the packaging played a role.

Lidl's own-label cereal range, some of which is high in sugar, includes Rice Snaps, Honey Rings, Choco Rings, Frosted Flakes and Choco Shells. Lidl said it had reduced the volume of sugar in its cereal products by 20% since 2015.

"We want to help parents across Britain make healthy and informed choices about the food they buy for their children," Georgina Hall, head of corporate social responsibility at Lidl, said.

"We know pester power can cause difficult battles on the shop floor and we’re hoping that removing cartoon characters from cereal packaging will alleviate some of the pressure parents are under."

Under advertising rules, brands are not allowed to market foods that are high in fat, sugar or salt to children, while separately cartoon characters should not be used to appeal to children. However, product packaging falls outside the scope of the Advertising Standards Authority.