Saturday, February 26, 2005

Roadkill candy: what trash are they peddling to kids now?!?

I am very disappointed in Kraft Foods. Their latest addition to their Trolli brand's gummy candy line is called “Road Kill Gummi Candy” and is shaped like flattened snakes, chickens and squirrels, complete with tire treads. What is the world coming to? Is road kill supposed to be funny? Maybe it was intended to appear “gross” yet when eaten, tastes “yummy”. Perhaps this is an attempt to mimic the “every flavor” jellybeans that were written about in the Harry Potter series that later were made into actual candies by the Jelly Belly Company. Can’t candy just be candy anymore? Why do children need the extra stimulation? Remember the first gummy bears? There was no story to them, they were not part of a movie tie-in; they just existed. They were just gummy bears. There was no hidden agenda and no joke. We just bought them, ate them, and enjoyed them. Back in the 70s and 80s things seemed much simpler. Now the gummy candy must have some other appeal to it. I still want to know why the product development staff thought children would like gummy road kill animals, complete with tire tracks.

However, it was not parents who were disgusted by this latest product, it was the animal rights activists. It continually amazes me how some parents have no opinion and don’t want to pass judgment on negative things or products peddled to their children. Yet in this same American society, the animal rights activists never fail to step up to the plate to voice their opinion on anything that offends them. It is something to ponder: why some Americans value and fight for the rights of animals, with protests, boycotts, press releases, print advertisements and bulletin boards, while so few Americans think critically about speak out against issues which may negatively affect our children.

It was the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals who stepped up earlier this week to Kraft and threatened boycotts and letter-writing campaigns about this product as they felt it encourages children to be cruel to animals. I am not sure that the road kill candy would inspire children to want to intentionally run over animals but apparently there are some people who will believe this. I will withhold judgment about that, although I am one of the parents who won’t let their kids play with toy guns, as I don’t want to desensitize them to gun use, violence, or think that killing is fun. I am a parent who didn’t even know this candy existed though, as we don’t buy candy for our children except on holidays or when making a Gingerbread House!

Well production was halted on 2/25/05 according to an AP story. Here is CNNs article, with photo of a road kill candy snake. Here is a BBC article.

Kraft representatives state they never meant to offend anyone.

Again my question is why do parents tolerate the garbage that is marketed to their kids and why wasn’t it the parents who spoke out against it? Sigh.

I wonder if this will be the next “collector’s item” that will fetch high bids on Ebay? Let me go check…yes, there they are, 15 auctions so far, with the auction ending soonest at a current bid of $23.50 for two bags! Again the collectors will buy and save anything that they think may increase in value over time, so very typically American!

1 comment:

Keith said...

It funny, just get over it. I'd buy them. Funny you have no trouble eating gummi worms what does that tell you kids. I'll you what is offensive is people that is sensitive that you tell everyone what to eat or say. But let us not worry about rights of the children or that a vast majority of welfare should be treated as criminals. But I digress, if it bothers you just don't purchase them and that is more power than you realize.