ROCKVILLE, Md. – Younger children aged nine and under have become a particularly influential demographic in the $639-billion U.S. food and beverage market. It is during this time that life-long dietary habits are created and brand loyalty begins.
Food and beverage products manufactured and marketed specifically for children account for 4 percent of overall industry sales, valued at $23 billion. Young children also have substantial influence over what retail products are purchased in the home, according to a new report by Packaged Facts.
“Today’s kids are more marketing savvy and nutritionally conscious than any previous generation,” said Packaged Facts Research Director David Sprinkle. “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.”
As influential as these children are though, their moms -- Millennial Moms -- represent an equally important segment driving the food and beverage market.
Like generations before them, Millennial Moms’ consumer behaviors are influenced by their mothers and the parenting style they experienced growing up. The Millennial Mom was raised by a Baby-Boomer mom, whose parenting style focused on building confidence, resulting in the Millennial generation’s desire for attention.
Social media is an integral part of their lives as it allows them to be constantly recognized by friends and given instant gratification. Technology, in general, impacts nearly everything a Millennial Mom does and buys for her family. Millennials have embraced new technology, including online shopping, checking Facebook, tweeting, posting a photo and location on Instagram, and pinning on Pinterest.
Therefore, it is vital for marketers of kids’ food and beverages to be present on these social media platforms to have the best opportunity to reach this demographic. However, having a presence isn’t enough -- marketers need to engage Millennials through relevant dialogue to keep them loyal and spreading the word to their social circle. This means keeping the communication short and easy to understand; offering timesaving tips and products that are good for the family; and careful brand and product placement.