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From Froot Loops to Loopholes

Laurence Newell
31 August 2023

Navigating the ever-changing landscape of the food and drinks industry, top brands are grappling with increased legislation concerning unhealthy products. Since 2019, Mexico has imposed strict regulations on these brands, requiring them to incorporate warning labels on their packaging fronts. The goal? To educate consumers about fat and sugar content. Interestingly, this legislation has also encompassed a restriction on the inclusion of mascots on packaging, affecting iconic characters like Kellogg's Tigre Toño and Sam el Tucán. At the start of last year, Mexican authorities seized 380,000 boxes of Kellogg's cereal, citing violations of these laws due to featured cartoons.

Kellogg's proactive response includes legal action against the Mexican government over this labeling policy, as well as recipe updates. And they're not alone – Coca-Cola and Kraft Heinz are similarly navigating this landscape and finding loopholes to exploit. 

As global marketing restrictions continue to expand, from health warnings to plain packaging akin to the tobacco industry, brands face a new challenge. These stringent marketing regulations erode a brand's unique identity in the market, consequently diminishing the value it brings to the business.

Brand Finance's series of analyses, most recently in 2021, delve into the potential consequences of marketing restrictions. Our estimations project a staggering $521 billion loss for businesses if such restrictions were globally imposed across the alcohol, confectionery, savory snacks, and sugary drinks sectors.

In light of these developments, it's essential to consider: How do you foresee brands adapting to these marketing restrictions, and what creative solutions could emerge to maintain brand distinctiveness?

About the Author

Laurence Newell
Managing Director
North America

Laurence is a brand specialist and consolidated marketing services business developer with 26+ years of experience directing client engagements in brand-building disciplines encompassing valuation, B2B and B2C research, strategy, corporate identity, and packaging across numerous sectors and markets. With experience throughout Latin American and North American markets, Laurence serves as Managing Director for the Americas Region of Brand Finance, the world’s leading brand valuation and strategy consultancy. 

Laurence is a frequent contributor on marketing and branding topics in media outlets such as Bloomberg, and The Drum. Laurence is a representative for Mexico before the ISO Technical Committee responsible for reviewing the creation of a transparent, reconcilable, and repeatable approach to brand valuation, ISO 10668 on Monetary Brand Valuation, and participates in the US Marketing Accountability Standards Board (MASB), with Brand Finance.

Laurence holds an undergraduate degree from Southern Methodist University and a postgraduate degree from the University of Miami.