‘Let’s Move’ anti-obesity marketing firm now pushing sugary drinks on teens

Font Size:

The marketing agency that worked on first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign to combat childhood obesity is now pushing a sugary drink on teens.

SS+K, boasts on its website that “we worked with Michelle Obama and her childhood obesity initiative, helping guide the research, shape the initiative and we gave it its name and identity.”

In late May, Kraft announced that it had partnered with SS+K to promote its new, sugary “Capri Sun Big Pouch.”

The new, limited-time “Capri Sun Big Pouch” product contains 33 grams of sugar and is meant for teens ages 14-17, Bridget MacConnell, senior manager of corporate affairs at Kraft Foods, told The Daily Caller.

The 11.2 ounce pouch is 10 percent juice.

The United States Department of Agriculture does not offer sugar intake recommendations, however, John Webster, director of public affairs at the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, told The Daily Caller that, this summer, the agency is promoting water over sugary beverages.

“Our key selected message for the May to August time-frame is ‘drink water instead of sugary drinks,’” he said.

“When you go to the Dietary Guidelines, they recommend that everybody from age 2 and up should consume fruits each day and in that case it is two cups. Fruit juice counts,” Webster added. “We recommend that people get most of their fruit consumption from whole fruit but a fruit drink will suffice — but it’s got to be 100 percent [juice].”

While the USDA does not have guidelines for sugar consumption, the American Heart Association does provide recommendations for healthy sugar intake.

“The AHA recommendations for added sugars vary from 5 teaspoons per day (or 80 calories) for a daily energy expenditure of 1800 calories for an average adult woman and 9 teaspoons per day (or 144 calories) for a daily energy expenditure of 2200 calories for an average adult man,” Matthew Fisher, communications manager for the American Heart Association, wrote the TheDC in an email. “For reference, one 12-ounce can of cola contains about 8 teaspoons of added sugar, for about 130 calories.”

According to WebMD “One teaspoon of granulated sugar equals four grams of sugar,” therefore AHA allows an average adult woman to have 20 grams of sugar daily and the average adult male to consume 36 grams of sugar daily. SS+K’s new project product contains 33 grams of sugar in a single pouch.

“For children it is based on total caloric intake and recommendations from the parent’s physician,” Fisher added.

SS+K’s online campaign to promote the “larger version of the classic childhood drink” is centered on a new video — currently posted at the “Capri Sun Goes Big” Facebook page — in which a regular sized Capri Sun aggressively expands into the new jumbo pack.


“This is not a product directed toward children 12 or under, this is really for older kids 14-17. While some younger kids may ask for it, any media communication that we are going to be running would be directed to kids 14 and older,” MacConnell added.

The new drink comes in three flavors: Fruit Punch, Maui Cooler and Strawberry Kiwi. Capri Sun does have 100 percent juice options.

Last week the first lady cheered Disney’s announcement that it will ban ads for junk food on its websites, television and radio stations. Included in that ban is Capri Sun.

SS+K did not respond to request for comment, nor did the first lady’s press office.

Follow Caroline on Twitter