Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Child Literacy - The Food Industry's Next Co-Opted Cause Célèbre?

Sure looks that way and it's a brilliant move for the food industry.

After all there are growing calls to ban the provision of toys with junk food, but what if instead of toys, junk food came with books and the purveyors of junk claimed that it was all in the name of improving literacy?

Doing so would give parents a truly feel good incentive to take kids out to dinner and would likely provide a far greater challenge to any call for legislative efforts to curb the practice of selling junk food with toys as now those toys will have a social issue attached to them.

While I've written before about Burger King's reading club and was recently informed of Pizza Hut's longstanding initiative, earlier this month McDonald's in the UK took it a few steps further announcing that at least for the next two years, Happy Meals will come with books (and in so doing they immediately became UK's largest book distributor). And then last week Casey Hinds forwarded me the details of Lexington Kentucy's "Feed the Mind" event designed to, " promote and celebrate reading and childhood literacy". It's being promoted to "thousands of fourth graders", and even feature's Kentucky's first-lady.

What else will Feed the Mind promote and celebrate?

Arby's, who according to Reza Timaji, Lexington businessman and President of the Arby's Lexington Co-op, "jumped at the chance to be involved". And for good reason,
"The cost of the event is being offset by the distribution of special Arby's coupon booklets created specifically for the celebration. For a donation of $5, Arby's customers will receive a variety of coupons and special offers worth over $20"


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3 comments:

  1. Anonymous11:10 am

    I don't mean to be crude, but I just wanted to point out that the small bear poking his head up from the side of the bench is "pedo-bear", which implies a whole other level of predation on children. If you are aware of this then I apologize for pointing out the obvious!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! Hadn't even noticed. Changed the image.

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  2. If the quality of the books being given away is similar to the quality of the food, is this a step forward?

    ReplyDelete