There’s no denying that Kraft Dinner is a tasty product. It has been declared Canada’s official favourite food by any number of pundits and authorities.
But if the logo of The World Health Organization or the Dietitians of Canada suddenly turned up on the box, with an endorsement suggesting that Kraft Dinner is a healthy dietary choice for children, that would almost certainly give rise to a major controversy.
A very similar scenario has been playing out in the US, with “Kids Eat Right – ” a nutrition education campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the world’s largest trade group for nutrition professionals. It began with a product label on Kraft Singles, declaring them to be a proud supporter of the Kids Eat Right campaign.
While it’s true that the Kids Eat Right campaign isn’t technically doing the endorsing, the implied relationship is one of mutual support, and many shoppers would not make the distinction. The fact is, the nutritionists appear to be endorsing Kraft Singles. And that doesn’t sit well with all parties concerned. In fact, many members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics were appalled enough to launch a campaign on the social protest site, Change.org asking the group’s leaders to #RepealtheSeal.
While “selling” their endorsements is hardly a rare or novel practice for experts in any field, there has been some scuttlebutt brewing on The Associated Press and other places – pointing out how bloggers are routinely paid to mention certain products on their sites and doctors and nutrition experts often go onto manufacturer’s payrolls to endorse products at public events and in the media.