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Grab Kids Attention in the Vegetable Aisle!

Parents drag kids through the produce aisle as they enter the grocery store. So why not use the opportunity to show kids the connection between some of their favorite book and cartoon characters and the healthy vegetables that inspired them?

Photo of Demian Repucci
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There is an opportunity in the vegetable aisle rarely taken advantage of. Advertising to kids! There are countless children's books, cartoons and movies that center around farm animals, vegetables, fruits, etc. So why not use the opportunity to draw kid’s attention to the good stuff behind the stories? An ad feature stand for Ratatouille could help kids realize that they can make the actual dish they saw in the movie! There could be tear-off recipes along with all the vegetables needed. Once kids see and get excited they will want mom or dad to help them make it. Publishers and movie companies could benefit from the cross-over advertising opportunity by also stocking the movie DVD. There could also be brand expansion with a Remy Cookbook, Remy aprons, wooden spoons, stuffed animals. All right there in the vegetable aisle! Movie companies would pay for the merchandising opportunity, kids would get excited about eating healthy and grocers (and farmers) could benefit from the new interest from kids.

Age of kids. The solutions to changing kids’ eating behaviors will vary depending on their age. What works for a toddler won’t necessarily fly for a teenager, although we suspect some concepts might be appropriate for all ages—even adults! Which age bracket does your concept address (tick all relevant boxes)?

  • Elementary (Kids) 5-10
  • Middle school (Tweens) 11-13

Hurdles to success. Helping kids make smarter food choices comes with a variety of hurdles that have to be addressed in order for a design solution to be successful, which of these do you think that your Concept overcomes (tick all relevant boxes)?

  • Expense and Convenience
  • Lack of Knowledge

Evaluation results

7 evaluations so far

1. Food Knowledge - To what extent is this concept teaching people about food knowledge?

It's teaching people a great deal about food knowledge - 12.5%

It's teaching people a moderate deal about food knowledge - 50%

It's teaching people a little about food knowledge - 37.5%

It's not focused on food knowledge - 0%

2. Cooking - Is this concept focused on getting people to cook?

It's all about getting people to cook - 50%

It's moderately about getting people to cook - 25%

It's getting people to cook a little - 12.5%

It's not focused on cooking at all - 12.5%

3. Originality - How original is this idea?

This idea is extremely original - 12.5%

This idea is somewhat original - 62.5%

This idea has some originality about it - 25%

I have seen this idea before - 0%

4. Scalability - How scalable is this idea across communities and geographies?

This idea can be scaled across many communities and places - 37.5%

This idea can be scaled but needs some work - 50%

This idea will take a fair bit of work to scale - 12.5%

This idea cannot scale at all - 0%


Join the conversation:

Photo of Chandra Shekhar

Photo of Shuting Zeng

Who had done this all the time? Junk food industry. I did a research on kids's menu from 1995 on for 10 years. By analyzing a kids menu contest I found that fast food restaurant winners never really improved what kids can eat, but what kids can play with when eating the same mac n cheese forever. The way they do it is: bringing in Disney characters on the menu and even Disney games next to kids' dining table, gamifying the dining experience such as letting kids to choose from colorful, visual menus with mostly french fries and burgers, and also abducting parents to fulfill their parental obligation to participate in food entertainment.

In case you are interested, my research is here:

But I believe we can do better to attract kids to the good side of the menu :) Would be great to present lego and vege together to kids too!

Photo of DeletedUser


Demian, I think this is a great idea. I believe one of the strongest motivators for the feasibility of something like this is the effectiveness of marketing for packaged foods, such as snacks, cereals, etc!

There were some mentions of great advertisements collaboration in the comments, but It's hard to find anything like this today, at least in Canada.

It would be very interesting to see the effects of targeting children in healthy foods, and I like your idea of actually designing the shopping experience around the audience as opposed to simply the branding.

Photo of DeletedUser


Cuties (tangerine oranges) have done a really good job at marketing directly to kids with its commercials and the slogan of "Cuties made for Kids." They have managed to leverage their original logo of a cute orange and capitalized on it to appeal to kids. Instead of using existing Disney characters to market their products which McDonalds and Burger King also do, Cuties have created a unique character that kids can relate to.

Photo of Demian Repucci

Phil, Thanks for the link to that article! Simply amazing!! Exactly what I am talking about with this concept. Because of the Shrek promotion Vidalia onion sales are up 30%-35% this year. I love the interviews with parents that say their kids are freaking out over onions, excited to buy them, cook them and eat them. Just think if other vegetables were promoted this way! Kids would be going crazy in the produce aisle begging their parents to buy all sorts of healthy food.
I am sure that this marketing cross pollination has been good for the Shrek brand as well. The clever onion tie-in references something Shrek said back in the first movie. I bet that kids, because they say the Vidalia onion promotional display, are now going back and rewatching the first movie, or buying it if they didn't already have it. All this visibility in the produce aisle I am sure has helped to keep kid's attention focused on Shrek, has reinforced the older Shrek material in their minds and has gotten kids talking about Shrek to their friends. All a good thing for DreamWorks.
Really great to see that something like this got such great results and has excited kids about eating healthy vegetables! Thanks again Phil!!

Photo of DeletedUser


Vidalia onions are having a record sales year - why? They decided to promote their produce to kids using Shrek! ("ogres have layers")

Photo of Demian Repucci

Thanks for the link Vincent! Pretty interesting is right! I didn't know anyone was allowed to slap high-fives with the First Lady! :)

Photo of Vincent Cheng

Thought you all would find this interesting:

A new health campaign launched by Disney, featuring first lady Michelle Obama, one of the Jonas Brothers, & various Disney kid stars.

Photo of Demian Repucci

Vincent, Thanks for the comment! Good thoughts about Disney cooking classes. It might be very interesting for Pixar (owner of Ratatouille) to host 'Cooking with Ratatouille' classes. The only difference between them and Disney is that Disney has a vast array of facilities around the world that could easily host such events whereas Pixar, I think, does not. But I see no reason why Pixar couldn't do a 'tie-in' cooking class event at somewhere like Crate & Barrel or Williams Sonoma. Ratatouille cooking classes for kids in those stores could open up huge new opportunities for Crate & Barrel or Williams Sonoma to attract the attention of a younger category of customer.
Which makes me start to think about the possibility of 'Kid Cooking' sections in those stores. They could be stocked with kid sized utensils, lighter pots and pans for easier handling, fun cookbooks, food science experiment lab kits, food themed movies and video games. The list goes on and on. Boy, I wish the concepting phase was still open as I think there is more potential here for development.
Thanks again for your comment!

Photo of Demian Repucci

Eddie, Thanks for the comment! Some interesting ideas there. I like thought of connecting kids to an online community and something larger and longer-lasting than just the in-store display. And offering a new recipe would be great at getting kids excited about coming back. Of course pre-packaged recipe ingredients would require a bit of coordination with the local grocery store staff but an issue not insurmountable to be sure. Maybe a new recipe is featured every week that the film (or book) is in the theaters (or prominent in bookstores). Kids could go online and watch a video of Remy offering tips on how to prepare that dish, read comments from other kids or post photos/videos of their own attempts. And then the newly cultivated community of kids who have taken recipes and signed up online are given first notice about the DVD release or a companion cookbook, etc. I like it! Thanks!

Photo of DeletedUser


Hey Demian, this is really fun. How about there's a healthy recipe of the week, and everything a family needs is in one biodegradable container they just pick up. e.g. 1 onion, 1 pepper, 1 potato, recipe card, nutrition info, colouring book/competition & link to video online with some. In fact, let's put vegetable seeds into the biodegradable container and they can tear it up and plant it to grow things at home.

Photo of Vincent Cheng

Awesome. In addition, just as you bring Disney to healthy food, you could also bring healthy food to Disney. Disney currently offers various popular cooking classes through their resorts/restaurants (including some for kids), but I believe they are more focused on the fact that these are taught by Disney "executive chefs", so really only appeals to existing foodies. Especially with Disney's efforts to revise their kid's meals to be healthier, couldn't healthy "Cooking with Ratatouille" classes be offered for kids?

Photo of Demian Repucci

Christine, Thanks for the link! I figured there was a cookbook out there somewhere. I just hadn't seen it yet. Interesting to me that the cookbook uses different artwork than in the movie. Seems a bit less connected than it could be... of course it was probably some licensing issue :) Thanks for the comment!

Photo of Christine Hendrickson

Great idea! There is a cookbook for Ratatouille published by Chronicle.

Photo of Demian Repucci

Tom, great connector idea. Maybe the rear-off recipe could have stickers for each ingredient so that the kids can put the 'eggplant' (aubergine haha) sticker on the eggplant they choose, the 'tomato' stickers on the fruit or tomato paste jars in another aisle, the 'herb' sticker.... etc. so that using up the stickers shows them that they have everything for the recipe.
I was also thinking that this idea could work for the Harry Potter brand too. I think that there are a bunch of foods mentioned in the stories, pumpkin pasties, butterbeer, etc. so there could be a stand in the veg aisle that lists them and has ingredients. Take-away recipes could be in the form of book marks so that the kids could go back and tag the page in the book that the food item gets mentioned.
Of course cook books could be developed for all of these characters. Or it might be fun for a 'sequel' Ratatouille cartoon cooking show to be made. Remy could be in a kitchen and teach kids and parents how to make ratatouille similar to the movie as well as a bunch of other healthy French dishes. Now that I think about it a Remy cooking show could be a lot of fun!
Thanks for the comment!

Photo of Tom Hulme

I love this idea - could we also include a programme where we produce materials for the kids to plant in the isles themselves? e.g. Ratatouille stickers to go next to the ingredients?