idsgn (a design blog)

Things we don't need: Disney-branded produce

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May 29 2009

Just when you thought the Disney brand couldn't be stretched any further, here comes Disney-branded produce. The most recent addition to the family of products: Disney "Farm Fresh" eggs. Now available at your local grocery store alongside High School Musical avocados and Finding Nemo oranges.

Disney-branded "Farm Fresh Eggs"

What makes an egg Disney? A small one-color stamp of "your pals" on the shells... and a higher price tag. It is obviously aimed at kids, but what kids even see the egg shells? The TV commercial shows eggs prepared in a "fun" Mickey Mouse shape, but good luck creating that at home. Still, these eggs are flying off the shelves.

So is this a bad thing?

Since Disney ended their Happy Meal contact with McDonald's in 2006, they have been experimenting with healthier food promotions. By placing licensed characters on fruit and vegetable stickers, Disney found they were able to sell more produce—making parents happy, growers happy, grocery stores happy, and of course Disney gets a cut from the sales. Now, instead of tempting kids with burgers and fries, kids are begging their parents to buy the latest avocado featuring Zac Efron.

It turns out that seasonal fruits can be the perfect promotional platform for a film. Last summer's avocado season coincided conveniently with the fall release of High School Musical 3. Besides the promotional boost, Disney earns back royalties on each unit sold. And, because of the Disney appeal, more units tend to sell. Sometimes it's a lot more: Bagged-apple sales went up 47 percent during a High School Musical promotion at Winn Dixie.

From The Big Money

With the experimental promotions proven to be a success, Disney Garden now offers more than 250 products, with sales up 70% last year. Everything from the basics (Toy Story apples and Finding Nemo oranges) to the borderline-absurd (Pirates of the Caribbean pumpkins and Sleeping Beauty pomegranates) are available.

Disney Garden line of products

While the backlash Disney experienced from the Happy Meal days are gone, not everybody is convinced this is a good idea.

If we think about children's well-being, the best thing we could do is to stop marketing any food to them and let parents make choices about what their children eat without being undermined by advertising.

Susan Linn, director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood

The commercial

If you haven't seen it, check out the TV commercial for Disney Farm Fresh Eggs:

What do you think, would you buy Disney-branded produce?

Filed under: branding

By Skylar Challand