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The Hundred

The Hundred’s partnership with KP Snacks draws criticism

by Wisden Staff 3-minute read

The Hundred has come under fire from health campaigners due to the tournament’s partnership with snacks company KP Snacks.

The England and Wales Cricket Board’s new domestic 100-ball tournament was officially launched on Thursday, with the eight city-based franchises’ kits revealed. All eight tops feature logos of different KP Snacks brands, including Hula Hoops, Butterkist and McCoys.

The long-term partnership between the new competition and the snacks company was announced in July, with Kevin McNair, director of KP Snacks, saying: “We are delighted to be partnering with The Hundred to help encourage families to get active through cricket.”

Now, however, the partnership has been met with criticism from a number of quarters, with Children’s Food Campaign co-ordinator Barbara Crowther saying: “Quite frankly we’re stumped as to how the English Cricket Board could choose a high fat, high salt snacking brand as an appropriate partner for The Hundred.

“Instead of promoting a healthy lifestyle, players will now effectively look like vending machines for junk food.

“Even Ben Stokes would be hard pushed in one game of The Hundred to clock up the 400 runs – or 5 miles – required to run off just 100g of McCoy’s cheese and onion crisps. English cricket should be using its power in support of efforts to halve child obesity by 2030, not becoming complicit with the marketing spin of the junk food industry.”

Caroline Cerny of the Obesity Health Alliance, added that the sponsorship of KP Snacks “is just another way they make sure their unhealthy products take centre stage in children’s minds”.

“We know that the relentless exposure to junk food marketing that children today are exposed to influences their food choices and how much they eat,” said Cerny.

“Meanwhile, junk food brands benefit from the unhelpful association between their fatty, sugary products and healthy activity, but ultimately it’s children’s health that will pay the price.”

The ECB and KP Snacks defended the deal, with the former pointing to how the deal can be used to get cricket to a new audience, and the latter suggesting their brands might not be as unhealthy as suggested.

“Our goal for cricket is to connect communities and improve lives by inspiring people to discover and share their passion for cricket,” said an ECB spokesperson.

“Across their portfolio of brands, KP has almost unprecedented reach into the lives of all of Britain’s diverse consumers and is keen to work with us to help grow the game of cricket.”

“We believe that snacks can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise. We have partnered with The Hundred to help encourage families to get active through cricket,” added a spokesperson for KP Snacks.

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