TV Series to Get Kids to Try New Foods

Discussion
Feb 20, 2008

By George Anderson

There’s no guarantee it could lead to children eating Brussels sprouts, but a new show scheduled to debut this fall on Canadian television is looking to entertain young kids and broaden their culinary horizons in the process.

The show, Taste Buds, has been described by marblemedia, producers of the program, as a “food adventure series.” The 30-minute program, developed for seven to 10-year-olds, is being billed as “a hands-on television and interactive experience that invites kids to be part of the entire process of food preparation – shopping, cooking, eating and even cleaning up.”

Mark Bishop, executive producer for the show, said in a press release, “We created Taste Buds to inspire kids to be fearless about discovering new foods. By watching the hosts create, taste and experience new foods, viewers will discover healthy and nutritious ideas in the kitchen.”

Each episode of Taste Buds follows two young co-hosts, Avery and Lily, as they explore the culture, history and other interesting back stories surrounding various foods. The kids are joined on set by adult co-host and chef Matt and the Chillbot 3000, a voice-activated computer refrigerator that provides background facts on foods along with recipes that the show’s stars and audience members can prepare.

The touchscreen on the Chillbot will be reproduced on the Taste Buds‘ website to promote interactivity and give visitors access to video blogs, games and recipes demonstrated on the broadcast. The site will launch in August just before the show debuts.

For a preview of a Taste Buds pilot, check out page two in the show’s
interactive program guide: the
marble monitor

Discussion Questions: Are there lessons for retailers
and foodservice operators in the intent of Taste Buds to
engage younger consumers and influence the foods they eat? What are “best in
class” food
retailers doing to engage younger consumers? How does this type of engagement
influence current purchasing decisions (or at least the ‘Hey Ma’ response)
and decisions on where to shop as kids mature into adults?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.

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6 Comments on "TV Series to Get Kids to Try New Foods"


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Mark Lilien
Guest
14 years 2 months ago

Food brands marketing new items to kids? That’s what Kellogg’s, General Mills, Quaker, and Pepsico get criticized for. If there’s a direct profit connection, it’s not education, it’s something ominous.

Marketing new tastes to kids might be easier for retailers, but there’s no doubt it requires innovative thinking. The margins would be better for restaurants, compared to supermarkets. The latter have such low margins, it would be hard to prove any payback. Almost no grocer or restaurant would invest in kids without requiring an immediate measurable profit.

Suzy Badaracco
Guest
Suzy Badaracco
14 years 2 months ago

Love the concept, can’t wait to see an episode. With the promotion of stealth nutrition or hiding the food from the kids, this is a refreshing stance. And it will contribute to better habits as adults, I would imagine.

Nikki Baird
Guest
Nikki Baird
14 years 2 months ago

As a parent of a soon-to-be 7 year old and very picky eater, I love the concept. As a shopper, I don’t know that it will change our behavior any–though I will say that any show or product brand that actually got my son to TRY things (and by this I mean healthy things, unladen with trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, fillers, and/or preservatives)–that brand would have my undying loyalty.

My son already participates in preparing the dinner meal, though he treats it more like a science project, and the process is laden with “eeww” and “that’s gross.” I don’t think a cooking show, even hosted by kids and a robot refrigerator, would change his mind.

Anne Howe
Guest
14 years 2 months ago

This is one of the best new opportunities for brands and food retailers to get involved in that we’ve seen in a while! We’ll investigate for clients in Canada!

Charlie Moro
Guest
Charlie Moro
14 years 2 months ago

It’s not just the influence of a parent’s shopping preference driving the next generation. But I have always been somewhat fascinated with my young nieces spending time watching various cooking shows and having a great time and driving the experience with their parents and grandparents to help prepare and choose the dinner meal.

We may eventually have a new generation of shoppers that actually know how to cook…now that will be a challenge for retailers and manufacturers.

Odonna Mathews
Guest
Odonna Mathews
14 years 2 months ago

The pilot episode looks appealing for this young age group. Children must learn healthy eating habits early in life and here is a great opportunity to show them how. In those teachable moments, my guess is that many of the kids who watch the show or go to the website may learn more about cooking and new foods then they do at home.

The show could be tied to retailers who might feature the recipe that week on their website or in-store demo or circular. The idea could also be tied into name brand products (food and non-food) and even teach safe food handling (i.e. clean, separate, cook and chill) in a fun and interesting way.

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