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Food companies have pioneered marketing to young people through digital media, including company websites and ads placed on third-party websites (e.g., Facebook and YouTube); social media pages where young people like and share company posts with their friends; branded games and ordering apps for smartphones; YouTube videos; and promotions by online influencers. Food companies now reach children and teens anytime, anywhere – and often parents have no idea.


Rudd Center Research

  • Each FACTS Report includes a detailed section on television advertising spending and exposure for the category (including cereal, sugary drinks, fast food and snacks.
  • Fleming-Milici F, Harris J. (2019). Adolescents' Engagement with Unhealthy Food and Beverage Brands on Social Media. Appetite, 146(2020), 1-8.
  • Hyary, M. & Harris, J.L. (2018). Hispanic youth visits to food and beverage company websites. Health Equity, 1(1), 134-138.
  • Ustjanauskas, A., Harris, J.L., & Schwartz, M.B. (2014). Food and beverage advertising on children’s websites. Pediatric Obesity, 9(5), 362-372.
  • Cheyne, A., Bukofzer, E., Dorfman, L., & Harris, J.L. (2013). Marketing sugary cereals to children in the digital age: A content analysis of 17 child-targeted websites. Journal of Health Communication, 18(5), 563-582.
  • Harris, J.L., Speers, S.E., Schwartz, M.B., & Brownell, K.D. (2012). U.S. food company branded games on the internet: Children’s exposure and effects on snack consumption. Journal of Children and Media, 6(1), 51-68.