TABLE 4-11 U.S. Advertising Spending in Selected Food-Related Categories by Purchased Measured Media, 2004


Total Measured Media ($ millions)

U.S. Measured Media



Food, beverages, candya




Restaurants and fast food




aThis category includes beverages, confectionery, snacks, dairy, produce, meat, bakery goods, prepared foods or ingredients, and mixes and seasonings (Brown et al., 2005).

SOURCE: Brown et al. (2005). Reprinted with permission from the June 27, 2005, issue of Advertising Age. © Crain Communications, Inc. 2005.

$141 billion for advertising in measured media (Brown et al., 2005). Appendix E, Table E-3 lists selected leading advertisers ranked by category, total U.S. revenues, and total advertising spending for 2003 and 2004. The committee does not have a definitive breakout of the portion devoted to food and beverages. As a proxy, Table 4-11 displays total advertising spending in measured media for selected categories: food and beverages including candy, and restaurants and fast food outlets.

An estimated $6.84 billion was spent on advertising in the food, beverage, and candy category, and $4.42 billion was spent on advertising for restaurants and fast food for a total of $11.26 billion in food and beverage advertising (Brown et al., 2005; Table 4-11). In 2003, food marketers spent $1.75 billion to advertise products to children on national cable television alone, which included NICK ($756.5 million), TDSN ($86 million), and TOON ($910 million) (Nielsen Monitor-Plus, 2005). The children’s media and entertainment industry are represented by four major companies—Disney, Time Warner, News Corporation, and Viacom—which own several forms of children’s media production and distribution systems, including ownership in broadcast networks and children’s cable networks (Allen, 2001).

Advertising intensity is one measure of the marketing emphasis given to a product category. It represents the ratio of a food’s share of advertising to its share of consumers’ disposable income. Although food accounts for approximately 16 percent of total advertising, it accounts for a much smaller percentage of disposable income, suggesting a high level of advertising intensity. This intensity varies significantly across different food categories. In 1999, confectionery and salty snacks (e.g., candy, gum, mints, cookies, crackers, nuts, and chips) accounted for 13.2 percent of total food advertising expenditures, but only 5.4 percent of the household food budget share, which represented an advertising intensity of 2.4, the highest of any food

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