The Water Wagon for Kids

Aug. 21, 2020

Kraft Heinz comes up with a unique way to publicize Capri Sun during the pandemic.

Like everyone else who covers the food industry, my email inbox has been flooded with press releases about food and beverage companies giving away product to help with the pandemic – either their own or suddenly-scarce supplies that they decided to make.

Kraft Heinz has put an interesting twist on this with Capri Sun, its aseptic lunchbox staple. Knowing that a lot of schools have turned off their water fountains during the pandemic, Kraft Heinz has filled 5 million specially labeled Capri Sun pouches with water and donated them to schools in Chicago and in Granite City, Ill., where its plant is located.

The interesting part is Capri Sun’s approach to publicizing this: A campaign titled “We’re Sorry It’s Not Juice.” They videoed a “blind taste test” of the water pouches among kids who look to be about seven years old. I’m not sure exactly what the kids were expecting, but clearly it wasn’t water.

The reactions are cute, in a kids-say-the-darndest-things way. My favorite was the little girl who, asked what it tasted like, replied: “My mouth.”

As event-inspired marketing campaigns go, this is clever, because it emphasizes how much better real Capri Sun tastes than water – to kids, anyway. Except that considering how much sugar is in the stuff – up to 18g per serving of Paw Patrol Mango Pineapple – if I had young children, I would be hoping that the experience of sipping water in a pouch would get them in the habit of making water their favorite, or at least customary, beverage.

That’s probably not going to happen, any more than you’re likely to see Capri Sun pouches bearing the slogan, “We’re Sorry It Has So Much Sugar.”