Marketers in the CPG vertical are always looking for new markets with which to engage, acquire, and win loyalty. One market, however, may not be receiving the attention its value warrants, and may be the key to reaching a demographic that represents 74% of American adults. That demographic is parents, and the untapped market? Their children, who make up a large percentage of the household’s grocery bill.

The report, “Kids Food and Beverage Market in the U.S., 8th Edition,” explores the effect of children on the buying habits of parents. The data shows that 26% of parents have learned about a product through a request from their child. Because of this, brands would be wise to keep this age group in mind when launching and promoting new products in the CPG space.

“Children under age six are just as important to marketers as older children are because life-long dietary habits are established during this time period and brand loyalty begins,” said David Sprinkle, research director, Packaged Facts. “This suggests industry players should focus on product development designed to capture younger kids and gain allegiance from parents earlier to keep them involved with the brand throughout childhood.”

The push for healthier organic food options has permeated all demographics, but may be even more significant for households that are buying for children at home. The survey found that 91% of parents view a food’s healthfulness as an influence on their purchase decisions, with 46% noting it as the top factor. This speaks volumes about the tendencies of this sprawling market segment, and may serve as an indication that brands need to begin leaning into the nutritious value of their products.

“Companies or brands dedicated to eliminating or reducing unhealthful ingredients will find a strong following of parents, particularly parents of the Boomer generation or those with kids aged six to 11,” added Sprinkle. “Likewise, the hidden veggie trend is most important to Millennial parents—reflecting this demographics’ desire for functional foods.”

For marketers already keeping children in mind when designing campaigns, the Packaged Facts’ report serves as a reinforcement, underlining the importance of this practice. For brands that have been trying to target parents directly without also engaging their entire family, the research is a red flag; by ignoring younger demographics, they run the risk of failing to cut through the advertising noise faced by parents, causing a significant dip in the bottom line.

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