Snacks with cartoon characters on the label have the edge, study finds

Cartoon connection

Sure, snacks with Scooby-Doo or Shrek on the package appeal to kids, but do they taste better? A new study in the journal Pediatrics found that children preferred the taste of foods with cartoon packaging over those without characters on the label, ABC News reports.

Researchers asked 40 children ages 4 to 6 to taste-test two samples of graham crackers, carrots, and gummies, all identical except that one package had a cartoon and one didn't. More than half the kids preferred the taste of cartoon-packaged gummies over gummy snacks with plain packaging, and 85 percent said they would rather eat the cartoon kind; 55 percent said crackers with cartoons tasted better than crackers without.

The characters had a bit less sway when it came to carrots, however. That finding implies that cartoons are better at selling foods high in sugar, lead author Christina Roberto told ABC News.