Monday, April 16, 2007

Disney bananas?

We stopped at Dollar General Market for a gift--we brought home some branded bananas. Did you know that Disney now has its own produce line, Disney Garden? Neither did I.

The bag itself is covered with classic Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy, along with fun facts about healthy eating with bananas. A bunch of bananas is called a hand--bananas are curved because they grow upwards towards the sun--one banana fuels 25 minutes playing tennis.

The bag directed us to Disney Garden's website, which features nutritional information for parents and not-terribly-nutritional games for kids. The Disney Garden website advises parents to make a game of trying one new fruit and vegetable a week. To help, they've put special stickers on produce and designed special pages for collecting various fruits and veggies. What's not to like?

My inner purist is uneasy about branding bananas. Produce has always been the one marketing-free zone in the grocery store. Isn't it enough that cartoons sell candy and chips? Shouldn't children know that not all good things are Disney-fied? What if my kids start refusing non-Disney fruit? Big business is rarely altruistic.

Perhaps my fears are just a knee-jerk reaction to Snow White's poisoned apple. I'm wary of ANY kid marketing that puts parents into a peaceful sleep. Yet, we need every bit of healthy ammo we can get. If there's a good quality vegetable at my regular price, chances are I'll buy it--Disney logo or not. After all, Andrew has eaten twice the bananas he usually does.

What do you think?

12 comments:

Shannon said...

I've been bothered by this same topic over the last few weeks. It's not just produce - our local Kroger is filled with Disney everything...cereal, oatmeal, cheese. I already deal with the "we're not buying a four dollar box of cereal because it has Lightening McQueen on the box". Now it seems I'm working even harder to make sure it's not about "who's on the box" on every aisle. And since shopping without kids is not an option for me, I have to figure out some way to combat the brand name stuff. Any ideas? On the other hand, I do, of course, want to encourage my kids to eat healthy stuff and a lot of this Disney stuff is healthy food that I would buy anyway. And a lot of it (for now, anyway) is priced better than the other stuff on the shelf. So if I was alone in the store, it's often what I would buy...I just don't like that it has Disney all over it. What's a mom to do?

Anonymous said...

with my 5 yr old, i've simply stopped the I WANTS with a lesson that taught her commercials are just a way to get you or your parents to spend their money, and to get kids to whine.....

now on sat morning, she yells at the barbie commercial, YOU ARENT GETTING OUR MONEY!!!!!

now if it'll only last...

Celina in Canada

cdorsey said...

Who knew Disney had a garden??

As far as commercialism goees, I agree with Celina in Canada, after I explained it's all about money, they look at things differently. Although I must admit, we played the commercialism game when they were younger. It wasn't until my youngest was about 11 that we started changing our ways.

Catherine
http://angelfoodcakeisntacandle.blogspot.com

Pleasant View Family said...

Just when you think you've seen everything...

Alison said...

What marketing attempt will they think of next? We generally try to avoid Disney in all forms but I too would find it hard to pass up a bargain. Perhaps one could coopt the idea as you have Chuck E. Cheese's prize system: put your own inexpensive stickers on fruit and give kids a sheet to collect them on as they eat fruit. Hmmm, might have to try that one here!

Lindsey @ Enjoythejourney said...

I like you have mixed feelings.

Does Disney *really care* that kids eat more fruits and veggies, or do they want to make a few more dollars?

I'll leave you to ponder that question.

But hey, if it gets a picky eater to try some fruit, then I do see the point in THAT way...but then I'm also a big time supporter of local CSA's and local farmers.

SaversAdvice.com said...

Disney is actually doing some amazingly innovative garden research. They've partnered with NASA to research many new and exciting planting/growing/ cultivating techniques. It's all incredibly impressive!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Land_(Disney)

Shannon said...

Alison - That's a great idea for getting kids to eat fruits and veggies. We don't have much of a problem with fruit since that's all I allow for week day snacks, but veggies are a different story. I'm going to have to try this!

Layla said...

Ditto what saversadvice said, above. I don't think all of the new branded produce was grown in the gardens at the theme park, but those are quite a sight. They're doing amazing things with hydroponic gardening, and they're developing many ways to grow food in locations that aren't traditionally thought to be arable.

That's not to say that this "branded fruit" endeavor isn't just a marketing gimick, but I wouldn't completely write off the possibility of a more noble goal.

AnnMarie said...

No way would I buy Disney-branded fruit. If it was an EXCEEDINGLY good price, I might, but I'd immediately take off all the stickers. And I probably wouldn't do it anyway. The less money I put into big corporations like that that have sucked the best parts of classic stories out of them, the better.

I have a Disney Pooh sweatshirt I wear a lot. My daughter recognizes the animals as a bear, a pig, a donkey, and a tiger. She doesn't know them as Piglet, Pooh, Eeyore and Tigger. We take great care to keep logos and brand names out of our house.

Meredith said...

My son didn't recognize the characters, either, Annmarie--but he wanted to go immediately to the website. Boy, that web marketing is effective!

We went to the website because I wondered if these beautiful bananas WERE grown in the Disney Garden. Turns out Disney has partnered with select growers, not growing their own.

Marie said...

I'm holding out for Disney PRINCESS bananas.