How Big Tobacco Hooked Kids on Sugary Drinks
Thursday, March 14, 2019
What do ads featuring Joe Camel, Kool-Aid Man, and the maniacal mascot for Hawaiian Punch have in common? All three were created by Big Tobacco in the decades when cigarette makers, seeking to diversify their holdings, acquired some of America's iconic beverage brands. They used their expertise in artificial flavor, coloring, and marketing to heighten the products' appeal to children. "If a kid gets used to drinking Kool-Aid instead of water, they are always going to prefer a sugary beverage," said Jennifer Harris. "And the advertising creates positive associations with these products in the minds of children."