Snacks for Children in India: Bridging the Nutrition Gap

January 2019

Indian children are among the most severely malnourished in the world. While low incomes are a key factor, urban children do not eat balanced diets. The growth of nuclear families and less time to cook at home contribute to nutritional deficiencies. Millennial parents pay more attention to their children’s nutrition. Though kids’ nutrition has attracted a lot of attention, few products focus on meeting their needs. A few manufacturers seek to address this by introducing children’s snacks.

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Key findings

India has a large middle class population, a growing number of nuclear families and working women, which have an impact on kids’ nutrition

The Indian population is undergoing dramatic shifts that are reshaping how people relate to food. The rise of nuclear families, urbanisation, changing gender roles and independent living are altering food consumption habits. These changes are extending to what parents are feeding their children.

Current food options are not effective in meeting the nutritional requirements of kids

The Ministry of Women and Child Development’s National Family Health Survey highlighted the extent of malnutrition among kids in the age group of 0-5 years. In India, there is void when it comes to kids’ nutrition, as child-specific products have yet to take off in packaged food. Currently, parents are feeding their kids traditional homemade dishes and snacks that are thought to fulfil their nutritional needs.

Child-specific packaged food companies are currently lacking in India

Packaged food companies in India do not typically target specific age groups, but rather offer products for all ages. However from 2015 India has seen the emergence of a few food startups that focus on kids’ nutrition. However, these companies offer limited product categories within snacks and need to explore a wider range of food options.

Manufacturers need to address the three Cs for kids’ snacks to take off

More than designing the right product, manufacturers need to keep in mind consumption inertia, creating the right distribution channel and communicating the message. New entrants and the existing packaged food conglomerates should assess the opportunities in the kids’ snacks market in India, and also draw learning from the successful kids’ snack startups.


Key findings

Demographic Shifts & Malnourishment in Children

A snapshot of India’s demographic landscape
Despite rising incomes, India’s malnourished rates are the highest globally
Reasons behind malnutrition amongst children varies by affluence
Nutritional analysis of the food and beverages often consumed as snacks

Parental Trends Create a New Potential Market

Millennial parents pay more attention to healthy eating
Key attributes that parents prioritise when purchasing packaged food
Like father like son: parents are the role models for developing eating habits
Kids’ snacks and beverages are an unexplored opportunity

Key factors to address malnourishment

The size of the prize is immense: snacks remain lucrative

Case Studies & Recommendations

Case study: firmRoots Pvt Ltd
FirmRoots Pvt Ltd
Kids snacks is a lucrative market; but not until the three Cs are addressed


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