Holding Big Food Companies To Account

Maya and Dev two Bite Back activists sit on a bench in front of a brick wall. It could be a station platform. Maya and Dev are holding up junk food products such as Kinder chocolate bars and Kinder surprises or Jammie Dodgers. Maya is making a face that suggests she is confused why she is being bombarded by these products and fed up with it.

Our latest campaign, Fuel Us, Don’t Fool Us, reveals the impact of big food companies on child health.

In partnership with researchers from reputable institutions such as the University of Oxford and Action on Sugar, we uncovered groundbreaking insights that are detailed in our reports. Check them out!

1: Are food giants rigging the system against children’s health?Full Report, At A Glance Report

2: Are food giants using child-appealing tactics responsibly?Full Report

Key Findings

The majority of the biggest food and drink manufacturers – 7 out of 10 to be exact – are reliant on selling unhealthy products in the UK.* This is at a time when nearly 1 in 3 children face an increased risk of food related illnesses in their futures. The numbers are staggering:

Proportion and estimated value sales from unhealthy food and drinks**

Screenshot 2024-02-15 at 18.09.10

It’s clear that most of these companies are pumping out way too many unhealthy products. They’re filling the system with food and drinks that aren’t good for us and far too often, marketing them to kids (read on for more on how they do that!).

Take Action

We’re calling on these companies to do better by selling healthier food options and less junk food. We also want them to quit the sinister marketing ploys that target children with unhealthy products.

The Top Ten Food & Drink Giants

So, how exactly do these companies show up on your supermarket shelves? Let’s take a look at the household brands they sell:

An intricate graphical representation of which brands each of the Top 10 food manufacturers own
Click onto the image to enlarge

The Tactics

What exactly are the sneaky tactics that these companies use to market unhealthy products to children?

Think of the cartoon characters that peer out at young children from supermarket shelves. Or the bright, colourful graphics. The rainbows and the spaceships, the friendly frogs or the googly-eyed monsters.

Packaging is powerful, there’s no denying that. These companies like to dupe parents too with the free giveaways, the fun games, and the products that seem fun for children.

An image of a box of Froot Lops with bright colouring

Froot Loops

  • Bright colours
  • Rainbow, clouds and stars
  • Unusual flavour
  • Unconventional product/ food colours
An image of a green packet of Randoms


  • Bright colours
  • Theme relating to animals
  • Unusually-shaped jelly sweets
  • Appeals to fun with a joke
An image of a Kinder surprise egg

Kinder Surprise

  • Theme relating to adventure
  • Egg shape is unconventional for chocolate
  • Toy included inside
  • Kinder is the German word for children
  • ‘Surprise’ appeals to fun

An image of Snackers product with cheese being the most eye catching element


  • Bright colours
  • Unconventional cheese & cracker flavour mix with the chocolate fingers
  • Eating is an activity with ‘Mix, make, munch!’
  • Appeals to fun with a hoola-hooping chocolate finger

We took a look at the portfolios of the biggest global food companies operating in the UK and found 78% of their food products that use packaging to appeal to children are classed as unhealthy.***

For full details see Report 1 and Report 2.

*Research conducted by the University of Oxford using 2022 Euromonitor data on packaged food and drink sales. Exclusions apply.

**Advertising spend is estimated based on Nielsen Ad Intel costing methodologies.

***262 food products from the top 10 global food and drink companies operating in the UK were reviewed

What Now?

Does all of this make you as angry as we are? Then join us and demand action from these companies.