Wary of being associated with fast food, Disney and others are leaving Happy Meals behind and targeting young buyers—well, their parents—by branding everything from eggs to apples, the Big Money reports. Disney properties like Mickey Mouse, Miley Cyrus, and Zac Efron appear on packaging as well as the tiny stickers that dot the stock in the produce aisle. Hannah Montana banana, anyone?
Disney started the trend in 2006, when it terminated its contract with McDonald’s and started advertising on apples. Purchases of branded food “benefit from the nag factor,” a Disney exec said, netting the company exposure and producers more profits. But not everyone is happy about the trend. “If we think about children's well-being,” an anti-ad advocate said, “the best thing we could do is to stop marketing any food to them.”