Research shows that whether it’s parents purchasing the snacks or kids consuming them, consumers said they are seeking out healthier snacking options. A recent survey by Mintel International found that kids and teens are receptive to healthy eating messages and are choosing foods with healthful ingredients.
When asked why they eat what they eat, 2-in-5 kids responding to the Mintel survey said they reach for foods that give them more energy. Over a third said they purposely eat foods that are rich in vitamins and nutrients, 25% said they sought out foods low in fat and 22% look for foods low in sugar.
Parents are interested in healthier foods for their children as well, and healthfulness may trump price, even in the current economic environment. “Yes, consumers are economizing, but there’s a new definition of value, and it’s not just about price,” said Shelley Balanko, VP ethnographic research at The Hartman Group. “Consumers put a premium on kids’ health and wellness and are willing to pay more for whole, real foods with less processing.” Balanko said Hartman research showed more consumers looking for snacks with high fiber, whole fruits and less sugar.
The market also seems to be supporting growth of fortified, enriched foods, as well as simplified products that offer fresh ingredients. The challenge for drug store retailers is to find the right mix of products that addresses both trends.