Last week, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics announced a partnership between Kraft and Kids Eat Right. Specifically that the Kids Eat Right logo will now appear on packages of Kraft American Singles.
The Academy has fully denied that this is an endorsement of a product, even though Kraft told The New York Times that it totally is. According to AND, the logo simply shows that Kraft is a proud supporter of Kids Eat Right.
I wonder how much money it cost Kraft to be such a proud supporter. And I wonder who made that decision. Because all the dietitians I have talked to are steaming mad (and embarrassed) about this.
If anything, this shows how out of touch AND is with their membership. At a time when many members are questioning the entire process of corporate sponsorship, they surprise 75,000 dietitians with a partnership with Kraft Singles?
Whether or not AND calls this an endorsement of a product, the public seems to see it as one. I posed these questions on Facebook, both on my private account and on my blog page:
Asking an honest question here for my non-dietitian readers. Please answer below.
If you saw this label at the grocery store for Kraft American Cheese Singles, what would it mean to you? What is your first impression?
Here’s what some of my readers said:
JUST by looking at the label ONLY it appears this would be a good choice.
If I didn’t know better, I would assume that it’s a nutritious food for my kids. Sadly, the average consumer looks at these statements on a package as a guide. They believe they can trust these endorsements and advertisements.
Advertising to trick people into thinking that this “cheese” is a healthy choice.
First impression, especially with my marketing background, is that this is for some reason considered to be a healthy choice for kids.
I’m not a mom but this says “This is a healthy choice!” to me.
If I didn’t know it was crap cheese I’d probably buy a ton of it and feed it to my family.
I am absolutely certain my parents would specifically buy this brand for when the kids come over thinking it is healthier than the other sliced cheese that don’t have the “kids eat right” on them.
So here’s the point. Endorsement or not, perception is reality. And most people will perceive this as an endorsement or a “healthier choice” product.
To be honest, I hope this is the tipping point for the Academy. I have never seen so many dietitians unified in voice over one issue.
If you are a dietitian, or a dietetics student, please make your voice heard. NOW IS THE TIME.
Copy and past this on Twitter: As an RD, I’m appalled with the @eatrightkids label on @kraftsfoods Singles, endorsement or not. #RDchat #cheesyfacts
Follow Dietitians for Professional Integrity on Facebook for the latest news and calls to action.
What do you think about this
There is now a Change.org petition you can sign. Click below to sign and share. You do not have to be an RD to sign!