Robinson, Borzekowski, Matheson, and Kraemer performed a study to see whether children’s tastes were influenced by heavily marketed brands. Over 60 preschool children tasted 5 pairs of identical food items. In each pair, one item was packaged with the McDonald’s logo, and one item was in unbranded packaging. The children were asked whether the foods tasted the same or if one tasted better.
The results of the study showed that overall, "children preferred the tastes of foods and drinks if they thought they were from McDonald’s." Analysis of the results showed that children who had TV sets in their houses and children who ate McDonald’s food more often were more likely to say the McDonald’s food tasted better than it’s identical counterpart.
The authors conclude that a food’s branding influences young children’s ideas of taste and that perhaps this idea could be used to encourage children eat more nutritious food.