Catch them young. McDonald's is doing just that.
According to the latest study on the effects of branding on young children published in Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine: Most three- and five-year-olds who taste-tested a variety of foods said they preferred the ones in the McDonald's wrapper – even though the foods were the same.
The study had 63 children, ages three and five, sample five foods: chicken nuggets, a hamburger, french fries (from McDonalds), baby carrots and milk (from a grocery store).
Each food item was divided into two portions: one wrapped in a McDonald's wrapper or placed in a McDonald's bag and the other in a wrapper without the McDonald's logo.
After taste-testing, the children more often said the chicken nuggets, fries, carrots and milk wrapped in the McDonald's logo tasted better.
Other interesting findings of the survey are: McDonald's spends more than $1 billion (Dh3,67bn) per year on US advertising; One-third of the children ate at McDonald's more than once a week; Three-quarters had McDonald's toys at home; More than 50 per cent had a TV in their bedrooms.