Pru Engel and Archie Engel - Images: https://sites.google.com/choice.com.au/shonkys2021
Consumer group CHOICE has awarded Kiddylicious Strawberry Fruit Wriggles a Shonky Award for being shonky sugar bombs.
Shonkys ceremony available for download here: https://sites.google.com/choice.com.au/shonkys2021
Kiddylicious images and video: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1x2oBPY_Rs_mAnlBCV1RpWCV1ghFHjifH?usp=sharing
A CHOICE analysis found that despite the fact that the toddler-marketed snacks make healthy-sounding claims such as "made with real fruit", they're really just jelly strips containing more than two thirds (68.8%) of concentrated fruit sugars. And they're expensive, costing up to $150 per kilogram.
CHOICE Audience Editor and mum of two Pru Engel says the gap between what's presented to parents and the reality is inexcusable.
"Parents should be able to trust that these products marketed specifically for young children are decent snack options that aren't loaded with sugar," she says.
Just how effective is the marketing? With claims like "packed with real fruit" and "no artificial additives", it's no wonder parents believe the Kiddylicious Strawberry Fruit Wriggles to be a healthy choice for their kids. In fact, they have more sugar per 100g than another familiar sweet jelly treat, Allen's Snakes Alive, which has 43.8g of sugar per 100g (versus 68.8g in the Wriggles).
CHOICE recently pitted the Kiddylicious and Allen's Snakes Alive lollies against each other in a nationally representative survey and found 71% of Australians perceived the Kiddylicious brand as a healthy choice, with 60% believing the Wriggles were healthier than the Allen's snakes.
"I'd never give my toddler a jelly snake, but I have definitely picked up a bag of snacks for him in the baby and toddler aisle when I was in a rush or looking for something new for him to try. As a parent you're always trying to do the right thing by your kids, but you're also incredibly time-poor. When they're small, you're probably sleep deprived, too," says Engel.
"It's shocking that there are products out there that are deliberately misleading and making our job as parents harder than it needs to be. Toddlers are being targeted with a shonky sugar bomb and parents deserve better."
The Shonky award for Kiddylicious Strawberry Fruit Wriggles comes following an earlier CHOICE analysis of 78 packaged toddler foods. 58% of the foods analysed contained added sugars harmful to health.
Read more: Sugars in packaged toddler foods - CHOICE.com.au
The CHOICE Shonkys 2021 are:
Kiddylicious Strawberry Fruit Wriggles - a shonky sugar bomb
Humm - for unsafe lending
The Breville Foodcyler - a $2,000 compost bin
Knock-off Bladeless Fans - generic fans with no wind power
The Airline Customer Advocate - for leaving us stranded
Main media release and more Shonkys information available at: https://sites.google.com/choice.com.au/shonkys2021
Media contact: 0430 172 669, firstname.lastname@example.org
Due to COVID-19 protocols, the Shonkys event is available as a pre-record.
CHOICE CEO Alan Kirkland and CHOICE Managing Editor Marg Rafferty are available for interview. Other media releases, photos, video and graphics available for media use here: https://sites.google.com/choice.com.au/shonkys2021
Survey of 1,024 people conducted online between 31 August and 6 September 2021. Responses were weighted to be nationally representative to the latest ABS census data.