Father and daughter shopping for lettuce at a grocery store

Clean labels, fresh products, and brand transparency are must-haves for increasingly health-conscious consumers. A new Packaged Facts report reveals that parents are especially concerned with finding inherently “healthy” foods, not just for themselves, but for their kids. In fact, parents prioritize health in their purchasing decisions even more than those without kids.

Food manufacturers that produce “kids’ food” need to take note so they can keep up with the demands of parents. Here’s what parents look for when shopping for their kids.

  • Fresh foods and healthy labels: First and foremost, parents want their kids to be consuming healthy food and beverages. Parents are much more likely than those without children to seek out labels that say things like “fresh,” “organic,” “non-GMO,” and “all-natural.”
  • Brand values and coupons: One-third of parents will seek out specialty brands with values they can support. However, if a purchase might be considered risky — that is, the parent isn’t sure if the rest of the household will like it or price is a sticking point —  coupons make their purchasing decisions easier.
  • Free-from: More and more Americans are choosing to eliminate certain things from their diets on a quest for overall health improvement or to combat food allergies (which affect approximately 1 in 13 kids). While many adults seek out products that adhere to specific diets, parents are much more likely to seek out brands free from things like dairy, gluten, and other allergens. Parents also avoid purchasing sugary foods.  

Almost half (46%) of parents spend over $150 on groceries each week — a number that rises with the number of children. With so much money at stake, food manufacturers with products geared toward kids need to pay attention to parents’ buying habits to remain successful in the space. David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts, puts it this way: “In a competitive packaged food and beverage market, it’s important for manufacturers and marketers to better understand how to strengthen appeal among the category purchaser—the parent.”

Purchase the full report from Packaged Facts.

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