Marketers worked the innovation machine in 2018, delivering several kid-friendly new products in both the food and beverage categories.
It’s a wise choice because children, at 73.8 million, account for 22.4% of the total U.S. population, according to the Rockville, Md.-based Packaged Facts' spring 2018 report Kids Food & Beverage Market in the U.S., 9th Edition.
“Industry players must engage kids earlier and retain relationships through the teen years to realize full market potential,” the report says. “The most effective marketers will leverage honed strategies to increase the connection with the core family market without alienating the childless household.”
Packaged Facts said kids are key influencers of parents’ food-buying choices, with 55% of parents saying their kids’ preferences and requests are especially important to them. Also, most parents (91%) said they buy a new food or beverage that their kids ask for at least some of the time, with 20% indicating they almost always do so.
One salient point the report makes is that there’s really “no distinct way to differentiate kids' food from regular food products.” Marketers may use fun shapes, crazy colors or character merchandising to appeal to kids, but this doesn’t make a product “exclusive to kids.”
The “gray area” provides incentive for marketers “to innovate new product lines that can be adapted to kids’ needs and desires or more broadly as a family-friendly food or beverage,” Packaged Facts said.
Click through for seven kid-friendly products that made a splash in the past year or are poised to roll out soon.