Plain packaging for crisps and sweets?
In a move that is likely to cause some concerns there is growing pressure on manufacturers of sweets, fizzy drinks and crisps to make their products with plain packaging similar to that now enforced on cigarette packaging. Dame Sally Davies, England’s Chief Medical Officer has proposed the move in an effort to combat the soaring rates of childhood obesity.
She suggests that having plain packaging would ‘level the playing field’ when crisps and other sweet products are placed alongside fruit and vegetables. The report was presented to the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and also suggested extending the ‘sugar tax’ imposed on fizzy drinks to also cover crisps and chocolate products.
Manufacturers use cartoon mascots on their products knowing that they will appeal to youngsters. In fact, Action on Sugar and Salt found that 51 percent of the 526 products tested used animated characters on their packaging. These products contained so much sugar in their recipes that they would not be allowed to advertise on children’s TV.
The worst offenders involved highly popular TV shows, such as Peppa Pig Candy Bites, which are 99 per cent sugar, and Paw Patrol chocolate coins, which were 60 per cent sugar.