Kids Food Choices Feed Brand Loyalty

More than 25 percent of parents in the U.S. learn about new food products as a request from their child, according to market research publisher Packaged Facts.

April 6, 2018

2 Min Read

Millennials, multicultural children and obesity influence how industry players market food for children.

More than 25 percent of parents in the U.S. learn about new food products as a request from their child, according to market research publisher Packaged Facts.

Packaged Facts’ findings are a part of its newest report, Kids Food and Beverage Market in the U.S.

According to the study, children ages 6 and older are an important demographic to marketers since life-long dietary habits and brand loyalty are established during this period in their lives. However, industry professionals must appeal to both the end user (the child) and the purchaser (the parent).

“It’s the circle of retail life. Child demands product, parent learns about product through child, household begins using product, child ideally grows up to encourage his or her own household to use said product–at least until their own kids start making requests,” says David Sprinkle, research director, Packaged Facts.

In order for industry professionals to appeal to both demographics (parent and child), Packaged Facts has identified three “mega” trends that have and will continue to shape the market for foods created for and marketed toward children:

  • Millennial parents–According to Packaged Fact’s report, Millennial parents account for 42 percent of all households with children in 2015. Packaged Facts believes this group will likely continue to represent a growing share of households with children due to the fact the Millennial generation spans nearly two decades. Additionally, Millennials comprise of a larger share of lower-income households, however instead of relying on strict budgets, the study found that Millennials are willing to spend extra for perceived higher quality products and services, notably with brands that represent their lifestyle.

  • The multicultural child population continues to grow–The market research publisher found that roughly 28 percent of white households, or about 24.9 million homes, have children living in the home. However, roughly 50 percent of Hispanic households, 44 percent of black households and 40 percent of Asian households have children living in them. According to Packaged Facts, this means targeting households across the cultural spectrum is one way to refine marketing efforts in order to reach a high concentration of families.

  • A focus on kids’ nutrition through stealth health and real food movements–Over the past 20 years, obesity has risen among both adults and children. However, despite growing obesity rates, Packaged Facts’ predicts marketers will continue to serve as advocates of kids’ health and take action to improve the nutrition and health profile of foods targeted toward children through a stealth health movement.
    According to Packaged Facts’, the stealth health trend has emerged in product development in almost every market segment of kids’ food and beverages. Beyond stealth health, the real food movement–which incorporates health, animal welfare, social justice and environmental sustainability–has also emerged as a trend in product development for children.

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