Child power is growing up. Children aged up to 12 years old now make up 26% of the world population. They influence the spending of their parents and spend their own money. See how children shape shopping.
Family shapes and size have changed but so has the way people parent. Parents are now more likely to share power, go online for support and admit to finding it hard to say ‘no’. Children are more demanding and willing to push parental boundaries. Pester power is ever-present and children have more influence than ever over what their parents purchase.
Home cooking and family meals are still cherished, but parents juggle food preparation with other demands: work, homework, afterschool activities. Exhausted by their busy lives, parents look for convenient foods – but with important provisos. They want high-quality, natural ingredients and added nutrients. Kids, however, care more about taste; and more often than not, get what they want. Manufacturers need to consider this delicate balance between taste and health.
From toddlers onwards, doing it yourself is a big part of growing up. Children want to be ‘in charge’. This includes opening their own drink and food cartons. Parents only allow this when safety and hygiene are guaranteed. It’s important then that products are offered in easy-to-open packaging at the right serving size, are comfortable to hold in small hands and don’t spill or risk becoming unhygienic. At every age, children want to be older than they are, so target a little older to appeal to the right age.
Kids will always be kids - playful and excited by the world. To appeal to them, build ‘wow’ into a product. Bright, happy colours with vivid images catch kids’ attention. As children grow they want something cool, like a space-aged metallic pack or standout shape. Conversely, children are innately afraid of new things, food included, and will revert to ‘familiar’ products. This natural fear can be countered by positive exposure, combining the new with familiar favourites.
1. Offer healthy, convenient solutions, but don’t compromise on taste
2. Children want packages they can open and use independently
3. Parents want safe, hygienic, functional packaging
4. Make children laugh. Fun factor is a must
5. Consider ‘snackable’ formats and bite-sizes
6. Create something new, but with a degree of familiarity
7. ‘No nasties’ are favoured
8. Target a little older than your real target