The next generation
Pester power is giving way to parent power, as brands realise they must ensure first and foremost that children’s products appeal to mums, writes Gillian Hamill
14 March 2011
‘Pester power,’ is a concept riddled with numerous negative connotations of financially-stretched parents being harassed by precocious youngsters. It’s not surprising then that this is one marketing tactic that many children’s brands are increasingly seeking to distance themselves from.
Hence, companies such as Kellogg’s have created ads such as the latest ‘Snap, Crackle, Pop’ commercial for its enduring Rice Krispies brand, that has a strong nostalgic and emotional pull for mums. The idea behind such adverts is that parents can share the fun and ‘magic’ these products can create together, and revel in their own childhood memories of the brand. After all, apart from confectionery and other small treats that can be bought with pocket money, it is parents who will ultimately buy children’s products.
Good nutrition essential
The nutritional credentials and convenience offered by children’s foods are therefore being increasingly highlighted. Products must appeal to parents on the school run, who want to quickly make up a healthy lunch box for their child, during a frazzled and hectic morning. This is especially important, given that statistics show one in five Irish children is overweight or obese.
That said, companies still need to make their products fun for kids, so that they are delivering something the child wants, rather than being perceived as a chore that must be endured.
For older children and young adults, having a presence online is another important means for brands to connect with their target audience. In fact, researchers have found that today’s children can more readily identify technology logos than wildflowers, according to an Irish Times report. A startling statistic that shows the influence the Internet can wield.
Ireland a booming market
Ireland represents a stronghold for the young consumers market moreover. Unlike other European countries, Ireland’s population is growing. The CSO’s Report on Vital Statistics 2008 reveals there were 73,996 children born in Ireland in 2008 – 38,040 males and 35,956 females. This was up 2,607 or 3.7% from 2007, and up 20,027 or 37.1% since 1998.
According to the CSO, the number of babies born in 2008 was the highest since 1980, when there were 74,064 births. That was the only year in the 20th century to have a higher birth rate.
In fact, 2008 represents the third consecutive annual increase in the number of births. The birth rate was 16.7 per 1,000 of the population compared with 16.5 in 2007 and 14.6 in 1998. Last year, it was also reported that there were nearly 500,000 children at primary school level. These statistics show the importance of continuing to invest in product development within this growing sector.
Tipperary Kidz water is an ideal water for packed lunches and for quick re-hydration throughout the day. Designed especially for kids, Tipperary Kidz water comes in an easy to hold bottle with a sports cap for instant refreshment. Not only is the packaging fun for kids but parents can be happy too in the knowledge that water is the healthiest option. Launched in 2003 and available in a 10 pack or singles, Tipperary Kidz continues to lead the way in the children’s water category.
Jelly Legs set to shake up lunch boxes
Jelly Legs is a new product innovation from the Gleeson Group. Each take home box of Jelly Legs contains 20 individual tubes of pre-set jelly. The Jelly Legs come in a range of five flavours: Strawberry, Tropical, Mango, Sour Apple and Blackcurrant.
Jelly Legs are ideal for popping in lunch boxes as a tasty treat for kids. As well as being convenient they contain no artificial colours, no artificial flavours and there is no need to refrigerate the product, which will keep mums happy too.
As more and more schools apply a healthy eating policy for lunchtime these low calorie, easy open Jelly tubes are an ideal lunch box filler.
The product has just enjoyed a very successful launch in Dunnes Stores and is now available to the whole market. With a consumer RRP of just €2.19 for a box of 20 Jelly Legs, and much positive feedback from schools and parents, the Gleeson Group believes this convenient new product is set to wobble off shelves and into lunchboxes around the country.
The Gleeson Group, which is a key player in the manufacture and distribution of water and soft drinks, now also has a growing range of children’s products including confectionery lines.
These include Magic Sticks, which are take home and count line freeze pops. Produced in Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary, the Magic Stick product is the only Irish manufactured freeze pop. The product has benefited from a rebrand in 2010 and appeals to consumers as a recession friendly freezer product.
Something to chew on
Wham bars are 25g chew bars, available in six flavours including Original raspberry, Strawberry liquorice packs, TNT popping candy, sherbet, lollipops and much more. In fact, an extensive range of over 20 products exist under the Wham umbrella.
The Gleeson Group states Wham bars represent great value treats for children, and that Wham is a very popular brand among children and young adults. Wham bars can also be found on Facebook, with their own page on the social networking site.
Millions sweets are a highly popular confectionery line, available in seven flavours. These unique tubes of chewy sweets are a very well known brand, and benefit from being advertised on UK childrens’ channels. Millions are packed in convenient, attractive counter units, with 12 tubes per unit.
Rustlers Hot Subs, which launched just over 12 months ago, has sold over 1.5 million packs making it the most successful product launch in the history of Ireland’s hot snacking category.
Its success has reinforced market leader Kepak Convenience Foods’ (KCF) proven track record in product innovation and introducing successful food service concepts to retailers.
The range, which comprises Southern Fried Chicken with Creamy Mayo, Tangy Meatballs with Tomato and Herb Sauce and Chicken, Bacon & Cheese Club has an RRP of €2.50 which is good value compared to an average sandwich, making it the perfect lunchtime solution.
John Armstrong, marketing director at KCF comments: “The hot subs concept is clearly an outstanding success in foodservice and we’ve transferred that popularity and demand into retail, allowing retailers to compete head-on with foodservice outlets.
“Our research highlights shoppers who have purchased Rustlers Hot Subs once return to buy the brand again and again. The products have increased Rustlers appeal to a much larger audience and introduced new consumers to the category. We’re confident this will continue as we have big brand investment planned for 2011.”
KCF advises retailers to stock up on Rustlers Hot Subs to make sure they get their share of this profit opportunity.
Jedward dazzle at Kellogg’s charity run
Kellogg’s is hosting a popular charity event in May. Pop duo John and Edward recently turned out in full force to launch the Kellogg’s Fun Raise 4 Kids Secondary Schools’ Challenge in aid of Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin. The poptastic pair got into the ‘fun raising’ spirit by taking part in a giant egg and spoon race and a three legged challenge to encourage secondary school students to organise fun, active events to raise valuable funds for the hospital.
For the past 12 years Kellogg’s Fun Raise 4 Kids has raised more than €2 million for the hospital with the Children’s Medical & Research Foundation. Students from all over Ireland have organised fun and zany events including sponsored walks, ice-skating marathons, sports days and a record for the most people in a high heel race.
Speaking at the launch, John and Edward Grimes said: “We think Kellogg’s Fun Raise 4 Kids is a really good opportunity for students to take part in cool activities for a really worthwhile cause. Crumlin Children’s hospital needs our help!”
In 2011 this support is needed by the hospital more than ever before. Funds raised by the Kellogg’s Fun Raise 4 Kids campaign will go towards the refurbishment of St Michael’s Ward and St John’s Oncology Ward in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital. Both wards are specialist wings where children and teenagers with lifelong chronic illnesses are treated. For some children who spend weeks or months on these wards, the upgrades and refurbishments are vital.
Students are invited to register their event to be in with a chance to have RTÉ 2fm broadcast live from their event during Kellogg’s Fun Raise 4 Kids week 9 – 13 May 2011. There are prizes on offer for students who raise the most funds and for those who organise the most successful event.
Log onto www.kelloggs.ie/funraise4kids or telephone 1890 507 508 to register an event and to get a free pack with a list of fundraising ideas, sponsorship cards and posters to help advertise events.
Snapping up sales
Through its Baked Beanz, pasta and soup brands, HJ Heinz has long been associated with healthy and convenient snack foods. Ongoing investment by Heinz sees it set to remain a keen player in this sector into the future. Products such as Heinz Snap Pots ensure that Heinz continue to satisfy consumer demand for convenience, choice and nutrition without compromising on taste or quality or the addition of artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.
Heinz Snap Pots are ideal for consumers who seek an even quicker way to enjoy Heinz iconic Baked Beanz and Spaghetti Hoops.
Both Heinz Baked Beanz and Spaghetti Hoops are available in the innovative Snap Pot format. Each Snap Pot pack offers four individual 200g portions that are ready from the microwave in just one minute making them ideal for busy families and lunch and snack occasions. In addition, because Heinz Snap Pots can be popped directly into the microwave, there is no need to hover by the hob or add to the washing-up.