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Children's Eating and Drinking Habits - UK - February 2011

Obesity is still dominating the headlines however it seems that finally there is some evidence of positive change in children’s eating and drinking habits. School dinner choices have improved; children are snacking less during the day and appear to have cut back on crisps, sweets and chocolate. It is difficult to tell whether this is because of enforced restrictions on lunchboxes or if children are genuinely responding to external pressure to eat more healthily.

  • The national pocket money budget stands at around £2.5 billion per annum, approximately 8% less than in 2009. A significant gender gap has been almost closed, while children living in London have faced the steepest cutbacks (£3 less per week than in 2009).
  • The cost of goods is increasing, forcing children to prioritise their spend more they have had to in the past. The children’s market has effectively shrunk in line with the recession; their spending habits have been curbed just as those of their parents have.
  • Girls are more likely to snack on fruit, yogurt, cereal bars, cheese, ice creams and even vegetables, while boys are more likely to snack on crisps, biscuits and chocolate. Young boys are also more likely to spend their own money on soft drinks.
  • Some 44% say they make more of an effort at weekends to eat together as a family, when there is typically more time to relax and take time over dinner. Sunday lunch is still a bit of an institution in the UK: 72% of 7-10s say they have a roast dinner on a Sunday.
  • Healthy eating is high on the agenda, with one in four children aged 11 to 15 almost always looking for the healthy option when shopping.
  • Almost half of children (7 to 15) have eaten out in the last week. Catering for families’ needs, in terms of healthy options and convenience, offers a distinct competitive advantage.

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Key themes
        • Definition
          • Abbreviations
          • Future Opportunities

              • Hyper Parenting
                • Affection
                • Market in Brief

                  • Positive signs of changing eating patterns
                    • Government challenges the private sector to take action to avoid legislation
                      • Further investment in school meals
                        • Cutbacks passed onto children as they lose out on pocket money
                          • Forecast growth in 5-9 age group creates opportunities
                          • Internal Market Environment

                            • Key points
                              • Core influences on children’s eating and drinking habits
                                • Families benefiting most from the ‘back to scratch’ trend
                                  • Figure 1: Changes to cooking and eating habits in the recession, by presence of children, December 2009
                                • Children create an incentive to cook
                                  • Shopping for healthy food
                                    • One in four children chooses the healthy option when shopping
                                      • Figure 2: Types of products looked for when shopping for food and drink, 2010
                                    • A step too far when a preoccupation with healthy eating becomes weight loss
                                      • Families’ eating out habits first to bounce back
                                        • Catering for children’s needs becomes a necessity
                                          • Figure 3: Top 5 places go to eat, eat-in and takeaway, 2008-10
                                        • Family-friendly initiatives
                                          • ‘Fat tax’ is back on the menu
                                            • Forget celebrities, parents are the new experts when it comes to endorsements
                                              • Over a third of school children take school dinners
                                                • Figure 4: Type of lunch children take most frequently during lunchtime at school, August 2010
                                              • Support for school dinners
                                                • School Meals do Matter to the Coalition Government
                                                  • School Food Trust records healthier lunches taken by pupils
                                                    • Clause 35 of the Education Bill is revoked
                                                      • Promoting local food
                                                        • Comedian Bill Bailey supports FACE campaign
                                                        • Broader Market Environment

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • Impact of the recession on family’s living standards
                                                              • Figure 5: Trends in the impact of the economic downturn on consumers, by presence of children in the household, according to % point +/- average, August 2010
                                                            • Innocent challenges VAT status
                                                              • Economic arguments against having a family are stacking up
                                                                • Figure 6: Trends for working women with children, 2005-10
                                                              • Change4Life moves to embrace more ‘public-private’ partnerships
                                                                • Ofcom decides legislation is doing its job
                                                                  • Kellogg’s launches a new ‘high fibre’ cereal with supporting campaign
                                                                    • The new battleground – product placement
                                                                    • Strengths and Weaknesses

                                                                      • Strengths
                                                                        • Weaknesses
                                                                        • Who’s Innovating in Children’s Food and Drink?

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                              • Figure 7: Food and drink targeting children, by top ten categories, 2006-10
                                                                            • Level of innovation has slowed somewhat since peak in 2008
                                                                              • Figure 8: Food and drink targeting children, by top product claims, 2006-10
                                                                            • Focus on bakery
                                                                              • Figure 9: Top product claims in bakery, 2006-10
                                                                            • Focus on drinks
                                                                              • Figure 10: Top product claims in non-alcoholic beverages, 2006-10
                                                                            • Focus on dairy
                                                                              • Figure 11: Top product claims in dairy, 2006-10
                                                                            • Focus on snacks
                                                                              • Figure 12: Top product claims in snacks, 2006-10
                                                                            • Inspiration from across the globe
                                                                              • Pepsi launches edible drink in the US
                                                                                • Recognition of coconut water’s hydration qualities spreads
                                                                                  • Nordic Naturals brings Omega-3 to sugar confectionery
                                                                                    • Nordic food
                                                                                      • Caffeine-free coffee for kids from Tokyo
                                                                                      • Market Scope

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • The target market
                                                                                              • Figure 13: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2005-15
                                                                                            • Measuring the market
                                                                                              • Figure 14: Estimates of market size in five key sectors relating to children’s food and drink, 2009
                                                                                            • Pocket money hits seven-year low in 2010
                                                                                              • Figure 15: Trends in average weekly pocket money per child, UK, 2003-10
                                                                                              • Figure 16: Trends in average weekly pocket money per child, by age and gender, UK, 2009-10
                                                                                            • Parents pass on the impact of increased costs of living
                                                                                              • Children respond by spending less
                                                                                                • Every little bit of saving counts
                                                                                                • Companies and Products

                                                                                                  • Major players
                                                                                                    • Bel UK
                                                                                                      • Company background
                                                                                                        • Product range
                                                                                                          • Recent activity/innovations
                                                                                                            • Advertising and promotions
                                                                                                              • Britvic
                                                                                                                • Company background
                                                                                                                  • Recent activity/innovations
                                                                                                                    • Figure 17: Examples of new innovations by Britvic, January 2009–Jan 2011
                                                                                                                  • Advertising and promotions
                                                                                                                    • Innocent Drinks UK
                                                                                                                      • Company background
                                                                                                                        • Product range
                                                                                                                          • Recent activity/innovations
                                                                                                                            • Figure 18: Examples of new innovations by Innocent Drinks UK, January 2009–11
                                                                                                                          • Advertising and Promotion
                                                                                                                            • Kraft Foods UK
                                                                                                                              • Company background
                                                                                                                                • Product range
                                                                                                                                  • Recent activity/innovations
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 19: Examples of new innovations by Kraft Foods UK, January 2009-December 2010
                                                                                                                                  • Advertising and promotion
                                                                                                                                    • Müller Dairy UK
                                                                                                                                      • Company background
                                                                                                                                        • Product range
                                                                                                                                          • Recent activity/innovations
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 20: Examples of new innovations by Müller Dairy UK, January 2009-11
                                                                                                                                          • Advertising and promotions
                                                                                                                                            • Nestlé
                                                                                                                                              • Company background
                                                                                                                                                • Product range
                                                                                                                                                  • Recent activity/innovations
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 21: Examples of new innovations by Nestlé, January 2009-January 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Advertising and promotions
                                                                                                                                                    • Organix
                                                                                                                                                      • Company background
                                                                                                                                                        • Product range
                                                                                                                                                          • Recent activity/innovations
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 22: Examples of new innovations by Organix, January 2009-Jan 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Advertising and promotions
                                                                                                                                                            • United Biscuits
                                                                                                                                                              • Company background
                                                                                                                                                                • Product range
                                                                                                                                                                  • Recent activity/innovations
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 23: New innovations by United Biscuits, January 2009-Jan 2011
                                                                                                                                                                  • Advertising and promotions
                                                                                                                                                                    • Walkers Crisps
                                                                                                                                                                      • Company background
                                                                                                                                                                        • Product range
                                                                                                                                                                          • Recent activity/innovations
                                                                                                                                                                            • Advertising and promotions
                                                                                                                                                                              • Yoplait UK
                                                                                                                                                                                • Company background
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Product range
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Recent activity/innovations
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 24: Examples of new innovations by Yoplait, January 2009-11
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Advertising and promotions
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Activity down by almost a fifth
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 25: Main monitored advertising expenditure on companies and brands relevant to children’s food and drinks (top ten), 2009-10
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Yoplait doubles its spend
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 26: Biggest growth in main monitored advertising expenditure on companies and brands relevant to children’s food and drinks (top ten), 2009-10
                                                                                                                                                                                        • 3D movie marketing prove an attractive draw
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Sponsorship opportunities
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Peppa Pig gives character merchandising a lift
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 27: New food and drinks for children with character/event merchandising, 2007-10
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Milk Link uses Pink Milk to get its point across
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Children’s Spending Behaviour and Pester Power

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Spending behaviour is dictated by age, independence, and freedom to snack
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Fewer children are buying food and drink for themselves...
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 28: Areas in which money is spent, 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 29: Trends in where money spent, 2006-10
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • ... those that are – are spending more
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 30: Trends in what children are spending money on, 2006-10
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Pester power via supermarket trolley
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 31: Lifestyle statements related to children’s influence on food shopping by selected demographics, % point +/- average, 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Choosing specific brands
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 32: Who decides which brand’s products to eat or drink, 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Snacking Habits and Healthy Choices

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Evidence of healthier eating patterns
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 33: Trend in snacks/nibbles eaten, according to % point change, 2006-10
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Healthier products are forcing their way through
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 34: Trends in consumption, 2006-10
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Opportunities for more innovation in healthy alternatives
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 35: Preference for ‘healthier’ alternative, 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Who is buying the drinks and snacks: their parents or themselves?
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 36: Who buys a selected range of food and drink, parent or self, by percentage, 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Energy drinks verging on taboo
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 37: Where children drink a selected range of drinks, by percentage, 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Parents’ Perspectives on Eating Habits and Mealtimes

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 38: Attitudes towards diet and eating habits, January 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 39: Attitudes towards diet and eating habits, by gender, according to %age point +/- average, January 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 40: Attitudes towards diet and eating habits, by age group, according to %age point +/- average, January 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Attitudes towards children’s eating habits
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Attitudes towards children’s eating habits, January 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 42: Comparison of selected attitudes towards personal diet and eating habits and attitudes towards children’s eating habits, January 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 43: Attitudes towards children’s eating habits, by age group, according to %age point +/- average, January 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Attitudes towards family meal times
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 44: Attitudes towards family eating habits, January 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Weekends are family times
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • The ritual of family meal times is ebbing away
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Zombie meal times
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 45: Target groups based on attitudes towards family eating habits, January 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Apathetics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Who are they?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Understanding the Apathetics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Weekenders
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Who are they?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Understanding Weekenders
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Lackadaisies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Who are they?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Understanding them
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Sophisticated Diners
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Who are they?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Understanding them
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Internal Market Environment

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 46: Activities done in the past seven days, 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 47: Trends in who go with to eat, 2008-10
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Market Scope

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 48: Trends in the age structure of the UK children population, 2004-09
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 49: Number of households with children, by socio-economic group and income, 2006-10
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 50: Main monitored advertising expenditure on companies and brands relevant to children’s food and drinks, 2009-10
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Children’s Spending Behaviour and Pester Power

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 51: Attitudes and influences of children on shopping habits, by age of children, 2006-10
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 52: Lifestyle statements related to children’s influence on food shopping, 2006-10
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Snacking Habits and Healthy Choices

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 53: Where do children eat/drink a selected range of food, selected locations, by percentage, 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 54: Things eaten for breakfast, 2006-10
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 55: Food eaten for lunch in week, 2006-10
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 56: Have roast dinner on Sundays, 2006-10
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 57: Snacks/nibbles eaten, 2006-10
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Parents’ Perspective on Eating Habits and Mealtimes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 58: Most popular attitudes towards diet and eating habits, by demographics, January 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 59: Next most popular attitudes towards diet and eating habits, by demographics, January 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 60: Attitudes towards children’s eating habits, by gender, according to percentage point +/- average, January 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 61: Most popular attitudes towards children’s eating habits, by demographics, January 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 62: Next most popular attitudes towards children’s eating habits, by demographics, January 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 63: Most popular attitudes towards family eating habits, by demographics, January 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 64: Next most popular attitudes towards family eating habits, by demographics, January 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 65: Attitudes towards diet and eating habits, by target groups based on attitudes towards family eating habits, January 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 66: Attitudes towards children’s eating habits, by target groups based on attitudes towards family eating habits, January 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 67: Attitudes towards family eating habits, by target groups based on attitudes towards family eating habits, January 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 68: Target groups based on attitudes towards family eating habits, by demographics, January 2011

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Advertising Standards Authority
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Bank of England
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Bel UK
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Birds Eye Foods
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • British Heart Foundation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • British Market Research Bureau (BMRB)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • British Soft Drinks Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Britvic Soft Drinks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Burger King UK Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Burton's Biscuit Company
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Cadbury Trebor Bassett
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Co-operative Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Danone UK Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Domino's Pizza UK & IRL, plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Federal Trade Commission
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Food Standards Agency
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Government Actuary's Department (GAD)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Haribo Dunhills Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Honey Monster Foods
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Innocent Drinks Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Intersnack UK
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Kantar Media
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Kellogg Company of GB Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Kraft Foods UK
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Local Authority Caterers Association (LACA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Muller Dairy UK Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Nestlé UK Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Ofcom
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Pepsi-Cola UK
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Pizza Hut
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • PizzaExpress Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Premier Foods plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Rachel's Organic Dairy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • School Food Trust
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • The Orchid Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • United Biscuits
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Waitrose
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Walkers Snack Foods Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Wm Morrison Supermarkets
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Yoplait Dairy Crest

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Children's Eating and Drinking Habits - UK - February 2011

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