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17 Nov


Are Lidl merchandisers not considering the message they are sending?

17th November 2015 | By |

The toy shown in the picture is in the current Lidl catalogue along with a number of really charming wooden toys.  But what were the Lidl buyers thinking?

Lidl hamburger and fries toy set

Picture from Lidl website [17th Nov 2015]


Concerns about childhood obesity and the accompanying health issues such as diabetes dominate the media.  Parents are struggling to contain the amount of ‘treat’ food their children eat against a background of constant bombardment of advertising of such food and constant availability at rock bottom prices.

I remember loving toys that mimicked everyday life in the world around me. I wanted a cash register like the one in the supermarket and I really liked my dolls’ house (even though I had no interest in dolls).  My parents even got me a real second-hand typewriter (cheaper than a toy one I suspect, if not perhaps free!).  I would have loved a toy shopping trolley with toy packets and tins. A number of toys in the range offered by Lidl seem to do this mimicking of life really well.  But making an image of fast food chain burger and chips a symbol of everyday life is I think a step too far in normalising them as every day food.  The colours of the toy also mimic those of the most well known provider of such food. It is hard to look at the picture without those golden arches coming to mind.If Lidl want to be seen as providing the means of sustenance and healthy food for families surely this jars and sends out the wrong message. Have they considered their responsibility to the families who are their customers? Have they considered their responsibilities to children and the implicit message being sent to them?

One of the other offerings is a representation of a cake. Why do I not have a problem with that? Well that is represented as a birthday cake which is clearly linked with special days and celebration rather than the everyday.

So what do you think? Am I a killjoy who is overthinking this?  Or do you see this as an error of judgement by Lidl?