Nestle criticised over halving the size of Killer Pythons to battle obesity

allens_killer_pythonsFMCG giant Nestle is copping criticism 0n social media after the company halved the size of children’s favourite ‘the killer python’, claiming it was doing it on health grounds.

In a media announcement titled “meet the new scale-friendly Killer Python” Nestle announced it would reduce the size of the confectionary product from 47g to 24g, but the move immediately drew criticism among consumers, many of whom considered the killer python a childhood favourite.

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 1.56.24 pmAmong the tweets and Facebook messages were criticisms of Nestle for the reasons given for the change and the fact that the product would now be very similar to its ‘snakes’ product: 

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 1.52.13 pmScreen Shot 2014-10-09 at 1.52.23 pm Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 1.52.40 pm Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 1.54.04 pm Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 1.54.11 pm

It also saw a hashtag, it had created for the initiative #TreatSizePython, hijacked by angry consumers. 

In a statement the company justified the move on health grounds citing the growing issue of childhood obesity as justification for the move.

“It’s part of helping people improve their nutrition, health and wellness, and underlines our fundamental belief that for a company to be successful, it must also create value for society,” said Martin Brown Nestle general manager – confectionery.

The company also noted that while the size had halved so had the price, moving from $1 to 50 cents.

It also signalled that the change to killer pythons was part of a wider initiative.

“We’re now offering confectionery with responsibly sourced ingredients, on-pack portion education and changes such as revised portion sizes and resealable packaging,” said Martin.

Nic Christensen

Update: In response to the social media backlash a spokesman for Nestle said:

“Killer Pythons are mostly eaten by children, so this move was aimed at ensuring we’re delivering appropriate sized treats for them.

“The original Killer Python would take a ten year old almost an hour of soccer to burn off; whereas it takes just half an hour to burn off the reduced one. We know not everyone will love the change, but we do think we need to do the right thing.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.