It only took a year (!) but we have finally managed to convince our lower north shore Sydney primary school to delete the Slades "Quench" drinks from our tuck shop menu! After an unannounced presentation on the true ingredients and their potential for behavioural disruption (backed up by a teacher rolling her eyes in exasperation at the effect the drinks have on kids in the afternoon) AND passing them around for parents and teachers to smell (no one dared drink them) the case was won to remove them.

The front of these drinks reads "Lightly carbonated spring water with 10% fruit juice" in fact when I compared this drink it is about 95% like Fanta with 35mls of juice added to get into the tuck shop guidelines (and fructose added presumably to increase the sweetness while being able to claim say reduced sugar).

Kids taste red, orange, or green cordial/soft drink but as they are consumed at school parents rarely, if ever, see/smell/taste these shockers for themselves and so are unaware of the true nature of these drinks. No ingredient listing is on the ordering system - one needs to hold the product to find out what their kids are getting from the tuck shop. It was clearing out my daughter's bag that I found an almost empty one that reeked of a raspberry lolly.

I really think involving people's sense of smell and taste in these products makes their judgement of the drink - complex ingredients lists and marketing tricks aside - eg everyone can identify a red raspberry lolly smell - even if the bottle says spring water with fruit juice.

I have realised there is a serious disconnect between what our kids are TASTING and what parents THINK their kids are drinking.

Savvy companies are knowingly, or maybe unknowingly, taking advantage of this communication gap in schools.

Not perfect in the canteen - but much better - thanks to Clare