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don't be fooled
by fruit drinks

A Social Media Countermarketing Toolkit to Reduce Fruit Drink Purchases



young, Latinx children consume too many sugary fruit drinks

We are working to decrease the amount of sugary drinks children consume through a tested campaign available at no cost to our public health and advocacy partners.

This toolkit contains an evidence-based social media messaging campaign for countering beverage industry marketing and decreasing the purchase of fruit drinks by Latinx parents for their children and promoting water as a healthier beverage choice.

The messages and toolkit were developed and tested by a team from University of Washington (Jim Krieger, MD, MPH; Lina Pinero Walkinshaw, MPH), University of Pennsylvania (Christina Roberto, PhD), and Interlex Communications (Rudy Ruiz, MPP; Mayra Urteaga, MBA) in 2020. Support was provided by Healthy Eating Research, a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Arcora Foundation - the Foundation of Delta Dental of Washington.

A 'fruit drink' is a fruit flavored beverage containing added sugar that
is not 100% juice

  • Fruit drinks are the most consumed sugary beverage in young children.*

  • Fruit drink consumption is high among Latinx children.**

  • Misleading marketing has led many parents to believe fruit drinks are healthy beverages, contributing to high consumption.*** ****

  • Parental choices largely determine the types of drinks consumed by young children. Sugary beverage interventions must target parents' purchasing habits and exposure to marketing.****

* Kay MC, Welker EB, Jacquier EF, Story MT. Beverage consumption patterns among infants and young children (0-47.9 months): data from the feeding infants and toddlers study, 2016. Nutrients. 2018;10(7):825.

Grimes CA, Szymlek Gay EA, Nicklas TA Beverage consumption among U S children aged 0 24 months National health and nutrition examination survey (NHANES). Nutrients 2017;9(3):264.

** Mennella JA, Ziegler P, Briefel R, Novak T. Feeding infants and toddlers study: the types of foods fed to Hispanic infants and toddlers. J Am Diet Assoc. 2006;106(S1):S96-106.

*** Munsell CR, Harris JL, Sarda V, Schwartz MB. Parents' beliefs about the healthfulness of sugary drink options: opportunities to address misperceptions. Public Health Nutr. 2016;19(1):46-54.

**** Pomeranz JL, Harris JL Children's Fruit "Juice" Drinks and FDA Regulations: Opportunities to Increase Transparency and Support Public Health. Am J Public Health. 2020 Jun;110(6):871-880. doi: 10.2105 /AJPH.2020.305621. Epub 2020 Apr 16. PMID: 32298182; PMCID: PMC7204473


a countermarketing Approach

The goal of this campaign is to counter industry marketing practices

The beverage industry markets sugary drinks to parents and children using cartoons, online games & other attention-grabbing mediums. Fruit drink marketing practices create a halo of health, with packages and ads making claims about nutrients, fruit content, and health benefits.

Key countermarketing elements:

  • Describe adverse product effects

  • Expose industry manipulation and predatory targeting

  • Generate distrust of the industry

  • Call out specific brands and images

  • Tailor to specific market segments

Did it work? Yes.


We enrolled 1628 Latinx parents in an online randomized controlled trial. One group of parents received fruit drink messages alone, a second received a combination of fruit drink and water promotion messages, and a control group received messages about car seat safety.


Both the fruit drink messages alone, and the fruit drink messages plus water promotion messages WORKED.


Parents who saw these messages were less likely to choose a fruit drink and more likely to choose water compared to parents who did not see these messages.

To assess purchase intent, we offered parents this online store (right) where they clicked on the beverage they chose.


Distribute these messages widely!

WHO is the audience for these messages?

These messages were developed for Latinx parents. If you would like to use these messages for other audiences, feel free to select the messages that are best suited for your community.

WHO can use these messages?

Anyone who wants to reduce fruit drink consumption! Public health departments or other government agencies, advocacy and other non-profit organizations, community groups, dental or medical clinics - can all use these messages.

Download the Messages

The following links allow you to download the social media toolkit (a PDF document containing additional information about the campaign and study as well as two sets of messages: one focused on discouraging purchase of fruit drinks, and a second that combines the fruit drink messages with water promotion messages), the tested Facebook posts (including English/Spanish messages and accompanying Facebook post text labeled as one sheet), and print versions for flyers/posters.

Fruit drink messages

The following fruit drink messages are organized by countermarketing strategy (a focus on health, professional recommendations, and deception and hidden ingredients) and are available for individual download.

A Focus on Health

UW - Rotting Teeth - FB-v2-01.jpg
Professional Recommendations
Deception and Hidden Ingredients
Fruit drink + water messages

The following fruit drink + water messages are organized by countermarketing strategy (pure water, a focus on health, professional recommendations, and deception and hidden ingredients) and are available for individual download.

Pure Water Promotion

A Focus on Health
UW - Sick and FAT -Water - FB_Multi-v2-0
Professional Recommendations
Deception and Hidden Ingredients

Researchers at the University of Washington, with the support of the University of Pennsylvania and Interlex Communications, developed and tested these messages and prepared this toolkit. Support for this project was provided by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Healthy Eating Research, with additional support from the Arcora Foundation - the Foundation of Delta Dental of WA.

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