U.S. Children: Snacking Preferences
Children of today are more aware of healthier snacks, and because of this, more children prefer healthier snacks than unhealthy ones. Additionally, snack packaging influences children’s snack preferences. Brightly-colored packaging with famous cartoon characters is hugely appealing to children. Other trends regarding the preference of children aged five to ten years old when it comes to snacks cannot be found.
Healthy Children’s Snacks
- Children are now more aware of what they eat. In a study by Amplify Snack Brands, it was found that 69% of children can identify which snacks are healthier than others and that 55% of these children prefer healthy snacks.
- Additionally, more millennial parents are listening to their children’s preferences. Since more millennial parents and their children prefer healthier foods and snacks, children are much likely to receive healthier snacks from their parents.
- Because of this growing trend, many snack brands are now appealing towards healthier snack options for children such as KIND, thinkThin, Orgain, Power Crunch, and Kellogg’s RXBAR.
- Chobani and Frito-Lay have also appealed to the growing trend by launching healthier snacks for children.
- Other trending healthy snacks for children include yogurt, trail mix, popcorn, oatmeal, and others. Easy to find healthy protein-based snacks that children may enjoy also include RXBAR kids (as indicated above), Good Bean Roasted Chickpea Snacks, Oatmega Protein Cookies, and others.
- Many studies have indicated that packages that appeal to children greatly influence children’s snack preference. A study from BMC Public Health indicated that visual elements such as characters, colors, and images affect children’s snack preference. Additionally, children perceive that specific snacks taste better when popular cartoon characters are in the packaging.
- Moreover, Market Watch recommends using attractive packaging solutions for fruit snacks to attract children.
- As per Trend Watch, branding and packaging are essential in making a snack brand stand out from the rest. Bizfluent further discussed that cartoon characters and brightly colored packaging are appealing to children.
- In a report by Amplify Snack Brands, it indicated that packaging is more important than ever. Millennial parents of today prefer easy-to-understand snack packages that indicate nutritional value when buying for their children.
- Additionally, many brands, such as SM kids and Pepsi Co, are appealing to children by using brightly colored packaging.
- Furthermore, on-the-go packaging is becoming more appealing to both children and adults. As per Food Dive, the “squeeze pouch market,” a segment of the on-the-go packaging market is “expected to reach $1 billion.” The squeeze pouch market, which was initially designed for kids and messy toddlers, have also penetrated other markets such as sports athletes.
Favorite Snack Brands
- Aside from healthy snacks and brightly colored snacks, traditional snack brands such as Oreo, Lays, Dorritos, Skittles, Hershey’s, are still popular among children.
- The most popular snack brand, Oreo, indicated that by keeping the heritage, nostalgia, and taste of the brand while continually innovating itself and creating a new marketing campaign, it kept itself popular with children. Additionally, the brand stated that by fostering memorable moments within parent and child also helped the brand successful towards children.
The research team found two trends when it comes to children’s preferences when it comes to snacks. Other trends that the team found were centered towards children snacking behaviors and snacking in general. We also could not find information about specific snacks that children dislike.
The research team started the research by looking into pre-compiled information regarding recent snacking trends for children aged four to eight years old. This includes popular and not popular snacks with children. Although this search did not lead to a pre-compiled list of children snacking trends (preferably their favored snacks), the search led to some general insights from reliable sources such as Food Dive and Mondelez International. The sources stated that children nowadays are more informed, enjoy healthy snacks and that they like bolder and brighter colored packaging. We decided to look deeper into these listed trends.
First, we looked into healthy snacks. Food Dive delivered the statistics for some recent trends, and we were able to find different lists of healthy from reliable sources such as Healthline and Cool Mom Eats. Upon further search, we also found that children are more informed when it comes to their snack preferences, and because of this, children are more interested in healthier snacks. After this search, we then looked into snack packaging popular with children. We found studies that confirmed visual elements in snacks influenced children’s snack preferences. We also found various articles that confirmed this trend.
The team then looked into media sources to find more trends regarding the preferences that children have when it comes to snacks. We visited trusted sources when it comes to this topic, such as Food Business News, Convenience Store News, CSP, and others. The team was able to find information about snacking trends such as how generations influence their kids on what snacks to buy, but we were not able to find more trends regarding children’s preferences when it comes to snacks.
We also decided to look into the favorite and trending snack brands by children. During this search, we found that Oreo, M&Ms, Hershey’s, Doritos, and Cheetos, are some favorite snack brands by children. We then also looked into why certain snack brands are popular with children. The team hypothesized that by looking into popular snacking brands and what makes them popular to children, we could triangulate a preferential snack trend from the given information. We decided to look into what makes these brands appealing to children and what attributes do children find in the brands attractive. The team found a report from PR Newswire that stated how Oreo continued to be the top snack brand among children; however, the information we found was not enough to drive a trend.
We then decided to visit various survey sites such as Pew Research and others. The team hypothesized that by looking into surveys dedicated to children, we could analyze the data and triangulate some trends from it. The team was able to find an article from Pew Research that discussed smart snacks in schools, but the article did not discuss any preferred snacks by children. We were also able to find a report from Emerald Insight that conducted a survey for children regarding their perception of fruit and snacks. However, the report was outdated and was behind a paywall.
The team then looked into snacks that children dislike. We looked into reliable sources such as Food Business News, Snack Nation, The Daily Meal, and others. However, the search only led to general foods that children dislike and nothing about a specific snack that children dislike. Furthermore, although children nowadays enjoy healthier snacks, no article indicated that they dislike unhealthy snacks, as brands like Reese are still considered popular among children.
The team then decided to broaden the scope of the search by including general snacking trends of children. We were able to find a couple of trends that influence children’s snacks. The team found a trend that millennial families are influencing their children to buy healthier snacks. However, the information did not dictate children’s snack preferences.
After the exhaustive search, the team concluded that no other trends could be found regarding children’s (aged five to ten years old) snack preference. The lack of information can be attributed to the fact that parents are the ones still buying snacks for their children, and because of this, market research may be concentrated more towards the parents than the children themselves. We also could not find specific snacks that children dislike.