This briefing explores how the busier lifestyles of new generation parents have increased their reliance on packaged snacks for children. Children offer a big opportunity to brand owners; however, parents have high nutritional expectations of children’s snacks. The categories of interest and approaches to raising nutritional profiles vary significantly between developed and developing regions. Product accessibility and appeal to children are key purchase influencers too.
The emergence of eating anytime, anywhere has brought convenient food options to the top of consumers’ mind. Snacks have benefited, due to their ubiquitous availability; however, the nutritional expectations of snacks have increased too. Brand owners are repositioning snacks for on-the-go consumption, giving rise to healthier alternatives to traditional sweet and savoury products.
Besides the sheer size of the child population, the growing trend of anytime, anywhere eating amongst children makes this segment a big opportunity for snack manufacturers. With less time spent at home and more meals eaten outside the home, parents will be on the lookout for snacks for on-the-go consumption in the longer term.
Children's health is a key parental concern for brand owners to address. Brand owners are focusing on raising the nutritional profile of snacks by using naturally functional food to appeal to parents. Parents play an influential role in making purchases, irrespective of children’s age, although the correlation between parents’ influence and snack purchases weakens with the increase in the child’s age.
Packaging’s influential role in communicating the ingredients through clean labels can be leveraged further. In addition, strategies such as single serve, portable and resealable packs allow food manufacturers to achieve portion control, reduce food wastage and appeal to parents.
Brand owners are increasingly seeking to engage responsibly with children through product co-creation, pop-up cafés and digital activities. There is much to be explored in the area of digital engagement, as brands owners move towards more responsible advertising.
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