Former Brand Manager for Kraft Breaks Down In Tears At Lustig Presentation

There’s no doubt that Robert Lustig has a powerful (though not new) message, and he’s gaining an increasingly broad audience for his message. More and more people are making the connection between excess sugar (carbohydrate) consumption and obesity, disease and ill health.

Still, what happens at this event is striking. Lustig takes a question from a woman who claims to be a former brand manager for Kraft1 who worked on Fruity Pebbles cereal. She breaks down in tears as she confesses to sitting in focus groups and hearing parents of children report that they feed their kids Fruity Pebbles in the morning because they feel good about giving their children fruit first thing in the morning.

Ahhh, marketing…

It’s powerful stuff, and you should watch it.

After you watch her disclosure and Lustig’s response (starts at the 7 minute mark), then go back to the beginning and watch the whole thing.

In case you’re wondering what moved this woman to tears, let’s take a look at the nutritional information and ingredients of Fruity Pebbles. Just for fun, we’ll compare that next to a real piece of fruit:

Fruity Pebbles An Orange (Naval)
Serving Size 27g (3/4 cup) 140g (1 orange)
Calories 108 69
Total Fat 1g 0
-Saturated Fat 0g 0g
-Trans Fat 0g 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Sodium 158mg 1mg
Total Carbohydrate 24g 18g
-Dietary Fiber 0g 3g
-Sugars 12g 12g

Which would you rather feed your child? If you feel the slightest ambivalence, check out the difference in serving sizes. Now look at what happens when we normalize the serving size for each to 100 grams.

Fruity Pebbles An Orange (Naval)
Serving Size 100g
(~ 3.7 3/4 cup servings)
(70% of an orange)
Calories 401 49
Total Fat 4g 0g
-Saturated Fat 1g 0g
-Trans Fat 0g 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Sodium 584mg 1mg
Total Carbohydrate 88g 13g
-Dietary Fiber 1g 2g
-Sugars 44g 8g


One Response to “Former Brand Manager for Kraft Breaks Down In Tears At Lustig Presentation”

  1. mjoneill

    Justin Dessonville (@iamdez) recently got in touch pointed out to me that Kraft no longer owns Post (the makers of fruity pebbles).

    I wasn’t aware that Kraft sold the Post brand off to Ralcorp in 2008, but I appreciate Justin pointing this out. I’ve gone through and altered the text in a few places that might suggest Fruity Pebbles is currently a Kraft product. However, I’ve kept the title of the post, as I believe it still stands: the woman claimed to be a former brand manager at Kraft. At the time (presumably), Kraft still owned Post (makers of Fruity Pebbles).

    Thanks Justin, for pointing this out!



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