My Peppa Pig packaging hell

A pot of yoghurt with plain packaging

There’s something I’ve got to get off my chest. It’s very much a first world problem, but one that I think many other parents experience on a daily basis nonetheless. I’m sick of food packaging that has cartoon characters on. There’s a direct correlation between the presence of some fictional person/talking animal and an extended mealtime plus subsequent tears before bedtime. And, yes, the tears are often mine.

Now before I go on, I realise that there are plenty of foodstuffs that haven’t been plastered with cartoons, but the ones we get are usually on multi-buy discounts and we’re on a budget. Right, I’m free to continue venting my spleen… Yoghurts are the biggest culprits. My kids seem to base their choices on who is on the pot rather than the flavour inside and, of course, they always want the same one. It’s not as if the characters in question are at all representative of what they can expect to be eating – for example, Peppa Pig is strawberry when she should clearly be bacon.

Then there are the ones that come in tubes. Not only do they result in the grim situation where you have to help your child finish them and inevitably get a combination of spit and yoghurt dribbled on your hands, they’re also a complete lottery. There’s always a random number of each character in every box. They often come in odd numbers too – how is that helpful with two children? It’s almost as if the executives of these yoghurty empires were once sat in their offices and one of them said “You know what would really upset parents? An odd number and only one of the lead character in each pack. Bwa, ha, haaaa!”

Kate got the boys some boxes of raisins with Disney characters on them for their packed lunches recently. I really don’t like Disney, but they were cheaper than the other options so it was fair enough. Except for the fact that they won’t eat the ones with Minnie Mouse on – simply because she’s not either her fella or his dog. Now, every time I open the cupboard to get stuff for my packed lunch, I’m greeted with five or six copies of her stupid face looking at me. I’m seriously contemplating putting a mousetrap in there to see what happens. Again, there’s the issue of the product inside not having anything to do with the character on the front. Although raisins may look like rodent faeces, they’re actually grapes that could have gone to much better use.

To balance this out a bit, I’m going to concede that there’s at least one positive example of things for young children being festooned with images of their favourite cartoon characters. The nappies that Xander has at the moment have Dora the Explorer and Diego on them – and I can’t think of a better use for images of those two. Try saying that two ways, Dora!

13 Comments
  • Richard
    September 26, 2014

    I have to agree with your thoughts here Tom, I have an 18 month old and every time we go shopping in our local Asda its like running a minefield of various characters on various products, we even saw Peppa Pig on medical supplies recently. As for the yoghurts my 18 month old will invariably choose ones with either Peppa Pig or Thomas on but being 18 months my wife makes sure he eats the lot although he does have his favourites he eats first (even though they are all the same flavour). I seriously think that manufacturers are sitting in their offices going ‘what can we con parents into buying now’.

  • Vicki Montague
    September 26, 2014

    I couldn’t agree more!!!! I hate packaging with all this rubbish on it! We avoid it as far as possible and I make most things from scratch…but you can’t avoid it all together. Plasters are a particular favourite in this house!!

  • Gerhard Pretorius
    September 26, 2014

    I hear you!!! Though I must say that my little Meerkat (20 months) doesn’t seem to bother too much with cartoon characters in the shop. I suspect that might be due to the fact that at the moment all he watches is CBeeBees. I also don’t see a lot of those characters in the shop. It also helps to shop at ALDI, as none of the stuff in there actually have quite the characters on them. He is really into animals at the moment, so I do constantly have to make him put back cat and dog food onto the shelf. We don’t have a cat or dog. He just loves the fact that they have pictures of dogs or cats on the packaging 🙂

    Best Wishes

    Gerhard

  • Tom @Ideas4Dads
    September 26, 2014

    Bugger ciggie packets Im all in favour of bringing in olain packaging for all kids food!!!

  • Ben
    September 26, 2014

    I do the mean dad thing and ban anything with a TV character on it from the house. I’m sure there’s also a correlation between the characters on food and the number of E numbers in them 🙂

  • Emma T
    September 27, 2014

    Thankfully (apart from the tv shows), we’ve avoided any character food, plasters etc. It does help that on yoghurts, we have to stick with lactose free so there’s no characters to pick from. But in a massive shelf of books, the damn pig seems to call to children. #pocolo

  • Ting at My Travel Monkey
    September 27, 2014

    The pink swine is the bane of my life! I hear you about the bacon. It does rile me how I get sucked into buying that stuff on multi offers! #PoCoLo

  • Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk)
    September 28, 2014

    We can see these character laden food but we steer clear of them. When shopping with my son we look at them but never buy them cuz I think they are pricey. And reading this I am so glad we did. #pocolo

  • Loving life with little ones
    September 28, 2014

    I agree with you and the character packaging is usually more expensive as well, I have to admit I just buy what I want, usually the cheaper option or what is on offer and never get the character stuff, occasionally the girls will point it out and say ooh I’d like that and I say something like we’ve got jelly at home or how about these as I put them in the trolley, they never moan or go on about it but I have never bought it so it isn’t an issue. #pocolo

  • Verily Victoria Vocalises
    September 28, 2014

    Hahaha! This is brilliant, and so very very true! I am so with you on the packaging thing. We had a similar issue with Frozen frubes recently but thankfully Grace is an only child so there is no squabbling over the characters (that said, occasionally Ross kicks up a fuss!). Thank you for linking to PoCoLo 🙂

  • Jonathan
    September 30, 2014

    What’d your attitude to Peppa the Pig nappies be? I see your point about food with recognisable TV characters on its packaging. Thankfully our son’s only 17 months old so hasn’t yet got fussy about this sort of thin.

  • John Adams
    October 1, 2014

    Oh yes, totally completely and utterly agree with this. And the cartoon characters are only ever put on the yogurts that are packed full of fructose and syrup. Irritates me immensely.

  • Dave (The DADventurer)
    October 3, 2014

    Sounds a good idea. Although I struggled to read the rest of the article after you raised the intriguing but delicious sounding bacon yoghurt invention 🙂

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