Anxious to distance itself from McDonald's and its association with unhealthy eating and child obesity, the Walt Disney Company has not only ditched its burger promotional partner of the past ten years [WAMN: 10-May-06] but also switched its allegiance to fresh fruit stocked in Europe's largest supermarket chains, among them Carrefour of France and the UK's Tesco.

Shoppers at the latter, which dominates the UK supermarket sector with over 30% share, are already able to buy Disney's Winnie the Pooh-branded satsumas and will soon be enticed into paying for Disney-labelled apples and bananas.

The branding involves removable 'character' stickers on the fruit, which can then be removed and transferred into a Disney album. "We are trying to develop 'better for you' ranges for kids," claims Andy Mooney, chairman of Disney Consumer Products.

The fruit-branding scheme is already under way in the USA and has been extended in Europe in deals with French retailer Champion and Germany's Metro.

Mickey Mouse-branded pasta, pizza and beefburgers are also sold at Carrefour and Metro.

Data sourced from Financial Times Online; additional content by WARC staff