Revive of the child-focused category

“According to FoodWatch Netherlands, 9 July was the first Sugar Max Day of 2022. On this day, children between 4 and 8 years old reached their average sugar limit for a whole year. This means they have already used their maximum added sugars for the entire year. And we still have almost 6 months to go.”*

Consumers are a very diverse audience and in recent years, we have seen that more and more attention is being paid to the youngest among them. The child-focused category is still in its early stages, but many brands are ready to help give this category a renewed place on the shelf.

In the 90s and 00s, we often had kid’s products and brands that focused on the playful and colourful. Today we see a new wave of products that take a different direction within this category. Brands are adopting the health and nutrition trend and translating this into the needs of children. This is to fill a demand from parents with growing health concerns. Those parents are becoming more aware of their lifestyle and realise they are passing it on to their children. Therefore they are looking for alternatives that involve healthier meals and snacks, with no or less processed food and fewer sugars and fats. This parent generation is becoming increasingly critical and even scrutinises products that claim to be healthy. And rightly so, because all too often, we still see products that are healthy product claim they contain lots of sugars.

“The consumer will be parents that want to take back control over their family’s sugar intake. In our point of view, the benefit is very clear: eating less sweets will lead to a better nutrition and lifestyle,” Gitit Lahav, co-founder of Sweet Victory, tells FoodIngredientsFirst.**

Besides the health aspects, brands also see this as an ideal way to introduce children to different types of food and educate them about food, nutrition and how they can shape their lifestyle. As the saying goes, “catch them young”. But we have to pay attention.

Although we see a positive development in children’s products, we are not there yet. Some companies are taking advantage of this development and jumping on this trend to profit from a growing category. Parents often want the best for their children and are prepared to spend more to achieve this. As a result, we sometimes see brands in this category that mislead parents. They claim to offer healthy food, while the products are still processed and contain too much sugar and fat.

These new child-focused products often are founded by frustrated parents who start experimenting and eventually create solutions and build a company. In Belgium and the rest of Europe, we are seeing a rise in these new companies and refocusing old brands.

Some of the brands we have explored so far:

Spotted an exciting kid’s product? Do let us know in the comments. 😉

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FoodBev Trend Explorer is the brainchild of Magali Renard. At 25, she was running one of Belgium’s largest start-up accelerators.

A few years later, she started her second company, Renard Drinks. She created a new range of non-alcoholic food pairing drinks with her team. Marketed in the Belgian premium market and was backed and sold in 12 Michelin star restaurants in less than 18 months.

As a pioneer in the market, she has learned by trial and error how dynamic the food industry is. Because all passion and enthusiasm aside, starting up a solid food brand is no mean feat. Knowing your product is one thing. Knowing when and how to market it is another. With this experience in her backpack, she helps other companies in innovation, market research and customer experience.

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* Source: Foodwatch