June 19th, 2012
Health Advocates Say Nestlé Co-Branded Candy With Girl Scouts Violates Pledge
By Katy Bachman
No doubt Nestlé thought that co-branding its Nestlé Crunch candy bars with the Girl Scouts was a good way to burnish the company’s image. But health activists fighting childhood obesity interpreted Nestlé’s move as a slick way around the company’s commitment not to market candy to children.
This month through September, Nestlé’s retailers are selling a limited edition Nestlé Crunch Girl Scout candy bar. Under Nestlé’s licensing deal with the Girl Scouts, it offers three different candy bars based on three famous flavors of the Girl Scout cookies—thin mints, caramel and coconut, and peanut butter creme. The packaging features both logos in the familiar colors of Nestlé blue and Scouts’ green.
Health advocates charge that by associating the product with the Girl Scouts, a respected club for girls 5 to 17, the candy maker is appealing to children and breaking its commitment not to market to children under 12.
“Nestlé is using the strong image of Girl Scouts to put a health halo over junk food,” said Margo Wootan, nutrition policy director for the CSPI, which along with the Berkeley Media Studies Group, wrote to Nestlé CEO Brad Alford Monday to urge the company to stop the practice.