We think it’s important for brands to react to what is happening in culture, but it is vital that they respond in an appropriate way. Tesco’s ban on small cartons of Ribena, Rubicon and Capri Sun aimed at children in a move against childhood obesity is a prime example of a response that feels slightly unfitting.
The trend for going sugar-free has been prevalent for some time now, with various books such as I Quit Sugar dominating the top of the bestseller charts and an influx of sugar free diets. Sugar has even overtaken fat as the villain of the food world, becoming a key concern in the battle against the rising obesity figures.
However, Tesco’s ban on lunchbox juices feels like a rather blunt tool for dealing with quite a difficult and complex health topic. The response suggests that the supermarket wants to be seen to engage with this prominent issue, without really considering the breadth of the problem. It certainly feels a little misjudged considering they will still be stocking cigarettes and other high sugar drinks, making the apparently health focused action feel less credible.
Although it’s commendable that Tesco have tried to engage with a current issue in culture, their response needed to feel sincere and measured. Rather than simply picking a few products to act as scapegoats for a wider problem, it would feel more appropriate if they addressed the issue of high sugar products throughout their store rather than demonising three types of juice cartons.