Monday, 7 April 2014

Kinder's 'Next Face' Gender Bender

That's not a girl - it's a boy with some badly Photoshopped hair extensions. What an odd thing to do to a chocolate packet! What an odd thing to do, indeed, to a child. If they're going to take those kinds of liberties, would you want your child to be the 'next face of Kinder chocolate'?

I'd never have noticed but for The Niece From Heaven and a visit to the Mirdif City Centre shopping mall, where we discovered a promo display in the central court being staged by Kinder. There were chocolate themed things to climb on and play with and TNFH was immediately drawn in, being something of a Kinder fangirl.

There was a photographer with a studio portrait flash setup - the promo was themed 'Do you want your kid to be the next face of Kinder chocolate?' - and he was listlessly snapping children, surrounded by screaming kids clambering on plastic chocolate shapes. We stood off, laughing cruelly at him and imagining the office all picking on Elie and volunteering him for the Kinder promo job.

Once your child has been snapped by Elie, you're sent to the collection point to pick up your very own Kinder chocolate box with your kid's face on it. A put-upon individual takes the snap from Elie and Photoshops it onto a packet background. He does this, incidentally, very badly. This is then printed out, guillotined, folded and glued to make a paper packet wrapper which is then handed to you. TNFH's face had been squished to fit - for some reason rather than scaled - so we eventually came away with a grainy, fat faced version of her on a light card wrapper. Her mum, who had braved the jostling queue of proud mums and dads and their little princes and princesses, looked like she had been hit by a hurricane. Apparently the enter your kid for the competition mechanism wasn't working, so the picture didn't matter anyway.

It was only the fact the display featured packets with a small boy in a blue shirt on it that made me pause when TNFH's chocolate stash was raided a couple of nights later. Lo and behold, on the packet was a small girl in a blue shirt.

The promo made much of Kinder's premise that more milk than chocolate is what made Kinder a good thing - "plus milk minus cocoa" is the line. My interest in Kinder much aroused by the photoshoppery, I took a look at the ingredients. Because plus milk means it's good for your child, right?

Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dearie me.

Milk chocolate (40%) (Sugar, milk powder, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, emulsifiers: lecithin (soy), flavouring: vanillin), sugar, skimmed milk powder, vegetable fat (palm), anhydrous milkfat, emulsifiers: lecithin (soy), flavouring: vanillin, total milk constituents 33% total cocoa solids 13%, solids in milk chocolate: cocoa 32%, milk fat free 17%, milk fat 6%

Palm oil. Lovely. Plus milk minus cocoa plus cheap, egregious saturated fat...

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