ROCKVILLE, Md.Food and beverage products manufactured and marketed specifically for children account for 4% of overall industry sales with a value of $23 billion, according to new market research from Packaged Facts.
According to the report, "The Kids Food and Beverage Market in the U.S., 7th Edition," children under age 9 are a particularly influential demographic for marketers involved in the $639 billion U.S. food and beverage market, as life-long dietary habits are established during this period and brand loyalty begins.
Todays kids are more marketing savvy and nutritionally conscious than any previous generation. They have input on the foods and beverages that their parents buy for them. And as any good marketer knows, the way to develop long-term customers is to hook them early in life," said Packaged Facts research director David Sprinkle.
Yet as influential as children are, marketers must also put forth creative effort in reaching another important segment driving todays kids food and beverage market: Millennial moms.
Keeping up with Millennials as early adopters of new technology and social media is a significant challenge for marketers. Technology impacts almost everything a Millennial mom does and buys for herself and her familyfrom online purchasing, checking her Facebook page, or posting a photo and location on Instagram.
Millennials embrace new social media quickly, as seen by the explosive growth of Pinterest and Instagram, meaning its essential for makers and marketers of kids food and beverage products to have a presence in these types of social media in order to have the best opportunity to reach this important demographic.
However, having a presence in social media isnt enoughits essential to engage Millennial moms with relevant dialogue to keep them loyal and spreading the word to their social circle. To increase relevancy, marketers should consider keeping communications short and easy to understand; offer timesaving tips and products that do good" for the family; and underscore these efforts by being authentic in both brand and product positioning.
And parents are increasingly looking for products they feel good about feeding their families. Its no longer enough for companies to just serve up food and beverages with the main goal being that it tastes good; new and reformulated favorites have to take a healthier formulation plan into consideration to meet the changing attitudes about whats suitable to feed kids to prevent obesity and nourish growing minds and bodies.