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Kids as Influencers - US - June 2011

Also under heavy scrutiny are social media networks. While Facebook guidelines forbid children under the age of 13 from registering, it is very easy to circumvent the system. In fact, roughly one fifth of parents with kids aged 6-11 surveyed by Mintel say their kids use social networks like Facebook, and the share rises to almost one third for parents of kids 9-11 (see Items Kid Owns or Personally Uses). Despite the guidelines currently in place, these sites are attracting kids. Given the fact these members are clearly violating company policies, marketers would be wise to use caution with regard to connecting with kids via these sites or else risk creating an environment more conducive to legislative mandates. As it is, a May 2011 Congressional hearing with Facebook executives broached the subject of user privacy and children’s safety when accessing these types of sites, so the issue is already on lawmakers’ radar.

Consumer survey data

For the purposes of this report, Mintel commissioned exclusive consumer research through Toluna USA to explore the influence kids aged 6-11 have on household purchases and how effective they are at getting parents to buy them what they request. Mintel was responsible for the survey design, data analysis, and reporting. Fieldwork was conducted March 1–16, 2011, among a sample of 1,177 adults aged 18+ with access to the internet who have kids aged 6-11 living in their household.

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Consumer survey data
            • Advertising creative
              • Abbreviations
              • Executive Summary

                  • Categories for which kids have the most influence
                    • Population and household trends present challenges and opportunities
                      • Childhood obesity concerns may benefit product categories that encourage healthier choices
                        • Challenging economic environment limits extent of kids’ influence
                          • Kids’ marketing presents unique challenges
                            • TV still an effective way to connect with kids
                              • Kids’ influence tends to increase if they are the end user
                                • Parents/guardians being as generous as possible despite a weak economy
                                • Insights and Opportunities

                                  • Tablet use in school could drive more demand at home
                                    • Broaden e-reader audience with a kid version
                                      • Kid-specific fitness centers address parental concerns
                                        • Age-specific shopping environment can improve comfort level with shopping
                                          • Leverage kids’ influence with regard to grocery shopping
                                          • Inspire Insights

                                              • Inspire Trend: “Greenfluencers”
                                                • Figure 1: Kids 6-11 years attitudes toward environment, 2002-10
                                              • Inspire Trend: “Hyper-Parenting”
                                              • Challenges in Marketing to Kids

                                                • Key points
                                                  • Childhood obesity concerns raising interest in regulating marketing to kids
                                                    • Use of iconic Ronald McDonald questioned by industry watchdog group
                                                      • Not everyone sold on marketing to kids in schools
                                                        • Kids’ daily activities makes it difficult to cut through clutter
                                                          • Technology and hectic lifestyles minimize family time, reduces kids’ influence somewhat
                                                          • Market Drivers

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Growth of kid population benefits marketers seeking their influence
                                                                • Figure 2: U.S. population, by age, 2006-16
                                                              • Childhood obesity concerns could motivate parents to seek healthier choices
                                                                • Figure 3: Prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents, 2-19 years, for selected years 1971-2008
                                                              • Growth in Hispanic kid population benefits big-ticket items
                                                                • Figure 4: U.S. Hispanic households, by presence and ages of children, 2009
                                                              • Changing makeup of U.S. households requires new marketing strategies
                                                                • Figure 5: U.S. birthrate, 2003-11
                                                              • Slowly recovering economy limits overall interest in spending
                                                                • Figure 6: Figure 21: University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment index, quarterly average, 2004-11
                                                            • Innovations and Innovators

                                                              • Family-friendly stores add fun for kids and potentially revenue for stores
                                                                • Kid-based dining programs attract parents as well
                                                                  • Retailers offering programs that make healthier eating fun for kids
                                                                    • Kid-oriented PCs introduce them to technology
                                                                      • ‘Let’s Play’ program aims to keep kids and their families active
                                                                        • HUB TV familiarizes kids with Hasbro toys
                                                                        • Marketing Strategies

                                                                          • Overview of the brand landscape
                                                                            • Figure 7: Kids 6-11 attitudes toward online advertising, by gender and age, Oct. 2009-Dec. 2010
                                                                            • Figure 8: Kids 6-11 attitudes toward television advertising, by gender and age, Oct. 2009-Dec. 2010
                                                                          • Brand analysis: McDonald’s and Happy Meals
                                                                            • Figure 9: Brand analysis of McDonald’s and Happy Meals
                                                                          • McDonald’s Happy Meal online
                                                                            • McDonald’s Happy Meal TV commercial
                                                                              • Figure 10: McDonald’s Happy Meal, “I’m Lovin’ It,” March 2011
                                                                            • Brand analysis: Toyota Highlander
                                                                              • Figure 11: Brand analysis of Toyota Highlander
                                                                            • Toyota Highlander online
                                                                              • Toyota Highlander TV commercial
                                                                                • Figure 12: Toyota Highlander, “Moving Forward,” November 2010
                                                                              • Brand analysis: Amtrak
                                                                                • Figure 13: Brand analysis of Amtrak
                                                                              • Amtrak online
                                                                                • Amtrak TV commercial
                                                                                  • Figure 14: Amtrak, “Enjoy the Journey,” October 2009
                                                                                • Other noteworthy TV commercials
                                                                                  • Just for Men hair coloring
                                                                                    • Figure 15: Just for Men, “Live Forward,” July 2010
                                                                                  • Carnival Cruise Lines
                                                                                    • Figure 16: Carnival Cruise Lines, “Fun For All, All For Fun,” March 2011
                                                                                  • Electrolux
                                                                                    • Figure 17: Electrolux, “Thinking of You,” February 2011
                                                                                  • Glad ForceFlex
                                                                                    • Figure 18: Glad Forceflex, “Don’t get mad. Get Glad.” October 2009
                                                                                • Kids’ Influence on Purchase Decisions

                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                    • Kids influence purchase behavior directly and indirectly
                                                                                        • Figure 19: Past 12-month purchases and who influenced the decision, October 2009-December 2010
                                                                                      • Kids exert greater influence over mom than dad
                                                                                        • Figure 20: Past 12 month purchases influenced by kids, by adult gender, Oct. 2009-Dec. 2010
                                                                                      • Older parents more likely to be influenced by kids than younger parents
                                                                                        • Figure 21: Past 12 month purchases influenced by kids, by adult age, Oct. 2009-Dec. 2010
                                                                                      • Kids have more influence in lower-earning households
                                                                                        • Figure 22: Past 12 month purchases influenced by kids, by household income, Oct. 2009-Dec. 2010
                                                                                      • Unmarried parents/guardians more influenced by their kids
                                                                                        • Figure 23: Past 12 month purchases influenced by kids, by marital status, Oct. 2009-Dec. 2010
                                                                                    • Kids’ Influence on Household Purchases

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Kids have greater say when they are directly affected by the purchase
                                                                                          • Figure 24: Kids’ influence on last household purchase, March 2011
                                                                                        • Older kids more influential than younger kids
                                                                                          • Figure 25: Kids’ influence on last household purchase, by adult gender and kid age, March 2011
                                                                                        • Younger parents more influenced by kids’ input on household purchases
                                                                                          • Figure 26: Kids’ influence on last household purchase, by adult age, March 2011
                                                                                        • A higher household income tends to increase kids’ influence on purchases
                                                                                          • Figure 27: Kids’ influence on last household purchase, by household income, March 2011
                                                                                      • At the Grocery Store

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Kids wield strong influence at grocery stores
                                                                                            • Figure 28: Likelihood of purchasing kid’s request at a grocery store, March 2011
                                                                                          • Dads more likely to give in to requests for candy, soda pop
                                                                                            • Figure 29: Likelihood of purchasing kid’s request at a grocery store, by adult gender and kid age, March 2011
                                                                                          • Lower-income parents treat their kids
                                                                                            • Figure 30: Likelihood of purchasing kid’s request at a grocery store, by household income, March 2011
                                                                                        • Restaurants and Menu Items

                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                            • Kids get to pick and choose when it comes to eating out
                                                                                              • Figure 31: Likelihood of letting kid decide restaurant and menu, March 2011
                                                                                            • Dads less likely to be persuaded by kids’ restaurant and menu requests
                                                                                              • Figure 32: Likelihood of letting kid decide restaurant and menu, by adult gender and kid age, March 2011
                                                                                            • Kids have less influence in lower-income households
                                                                                              • Figure 33: Likelihood of letting kid decide restaurant and menu, by household income, March 2011
                                                                                            • Kids are often restaurant companions for parents/guardians
                                                                                              • Figure 34: Fast food restaurant companionship, by meal occasion, Oct. 2009-Dec. 2010
                                                                                              • Figure 35: Family restaurant companionship, by meal occasion, Oct. 2009-Dec. 2010
                                                                                          • Toys, Tickets, and Recreational Items

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Kids have less sway when it comes to toys, tickets and recreational items
                                                                                                  • Figure 36: Likelihood of purchasing kid’s entertainment request, March 2011
                                                                                                • Older kids’ entertainment requests more likely to be granted
                                                                                                  • Figure 37: Likelihood of purchasing kid’s entertainment request, by adult gender and kid age, March 2011
                                                                                                • Kids from more affluent household more likely to get what they ask for
                                                                                                  • Figure 38: Likelihood of purchasing kid’s entertainment request, by household income, March 2011
                                                                                              • Electronics and Media

                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • Kids are able to influence big-ticket electronics and media purchases
                                                                                                    • Figure 39: Likelihood of purchasing kid’s electronics request, March 2011
                                                                                                  • Dads more receptive to kids’ influence
                                                                                                    • Figure 40: Likelihood of purchasing kid’s electronics request, by adult gender and kid age, March 2011
                                                                                                  • Affluent respondents willing to share the wealth
                                                                                                    • Figure 41: Likelihood of purchasing kid’s electronics request, by household income, March 2011
                                                                                                • Apparel and Personal Care

                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                    • Necessities like clothing and shoes take precedence over personal care
                                                                                                      • Figure 42: Likelihood of purchasing kid’s apparel/personal care request, March 2011
                                                                                                    • Moms more inclined than dads to buy apparel items suggested by their kids
                                                                                                      • Figure 43: Likelihood of purchasing kid’s apparel/personal care request, by adult gender, March 2011
                                                                                                    • Income does not dictate responses to apparel and personal care requests
                                                                                                      • Figure 44: Likelihood of purchasing kid’s apparel/personal care request, by household income, March 2011
                                                                                                    • Most households annually spend $150 or more on kids’ clothes
                                                                                                      • Figure 45: Amount spent on kids’ clothing in the last 12 months, by kid age, Oct. 2009-Dec. 2010
                                                                                                    • Majority of kids wear what they want
                                                                                                      • Figure 46: Kids 6-11 attitudes toward clothing and shopping, by kid gender and kid age, Oct. 2009-Dec. 2010
                                                                                                    • Parents/guardians are sensitive to price, not so much to brands
                                                                                                      • Figure 47: Attitudes toward kid’s clothing, by adult gender and kid age, March 2011
                                                                                                    • More income means more pressure to keep up
                                                                                                      • Figure 48: Attitudes toward kids’ clothing, by household income, March 2011
                                                                                                  • Financial Attitudes and Spending Money

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Recession causing parents/guardians to be open about family’s finances
                                                                                                        • Figure 49: Attitudes toward kids and finances, by adult gender and kid age, March 2011
                                                                                                      • Less affluent are more open about family finances
                                                                                                        • Figure 50: Attitudes toward kids and finances, by household income, March 2011
                                                                                                      • Amount of spending money/weekly allowance varies with demographics
                                                                                                        • Dads appear more generous when it comes to spending money/allowance
                                                                                                          • Figure 51: Average weekly spending money/allowance, by adult gender and kid age, March 2011
                                                                                                        • Affluent and unmarried parents giving more
                                                                                                          • Figure 52: Average weekly spending money/allowance, by household income, by marital status and kid age, March 2011
                                                                                                      • Items Kid Owns or Personally Uses

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • Significant difference in ownership levels for older kids
                                                                                                            • Figure 53: Items kid owns or personally uses, by kid age and by adult gender, March 2011
                                                                                                          • Wealthy households more apt to provide kids with financial products
                                                                                                            • Figure 54: Items kid owns or personally uses, by household income, March 2011
                                                                                                        • Time Spent Daily on Activities

                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                            • Marketers must adapt to kids’ daily activities
                                                                                                              • Figure 55: Daily time spent by kid on entertainment activities, by kid age, March 2011
                                                                                                              • Figure 56: Kids 6-11 internet use, by gender and age, October 2009-December 2010
                                                                                                            • Kids in single-parent homes fill their time with solo entertainment
                                                                                                              • Figure 57: Daily time spent by kid on entertainment activities, by adult relationship status, March 2011
                                                                                                          • Impact of Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                              • Blacks more responsive to kid’s influence for food and household products
                                                                                                                • Figure 58: Past 12 month purchases influenced by kids, by race/Hispanic origin, Oct. 2009-Dec. 2010
                                                                                                              • Hispanic kids have most influence in purchase of big-ticket items
                                                                                                                • Figure 59: Kid influence on last household purchase, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2011
                                                                                                              • Black parents/guardians swayed by kid’s input at the grocery store
                                                                                                                • Figure 60: Likelihood of purchasing kid’s request at a grocery store, race/Hispanic origin, March 2011
                                                                                                              • Hispanics least influenced by kids when dining out
                                                                                                                • Figure 61: Likelihood of letting kid decide restaurant and menu, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2011
                                                                                                              • Blacks most influenced by kids for toy, tickets, and recreational purchases
                                                                                                                • Figure 62: Likelihood of purchasing kid’s entertainment request, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2011
                                                                                                              • Black kids major influence for electronic items
                                                                                                                • Figure 63: Likelihood of purchasing kid’s electronics request, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2011
                                                                                                              • Importance of apparel and shoes to blacks and Hispanics reflected in kids’ influence among these groups
                                                                                                                • Figure 64: Likelihood of purchasing kid’s apparel/personal care request, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2011
                                                                                                              • Whites tend to be practical clothes shoppers
                                                                                                                • Figure 65: Attitudes toward kid’s clothing, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2011
                                                                                                              • Racial groups are open with kids about finances
                                                                                                                • Figure 66: Attitudes toward kid and finances, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2011
                                                                                                              • Whites least likely to give weekly spending money/allowance
                                                                                                                • Figure 67: Average weekly spending money/allowance, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2011
                                                                                                              • Black kids tend to have higher usage/ownership levels
                                                                                                                • Figure 68: Items kid owns or personally uses, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2011
                                                                                                            • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                • Young Potentials
                                                                                                                  • Characteristics
                                                                                                                    • Demographics
                                                                                                                      • Opportunity
                                                                                                                        • Active Big-Spenders
                                                                                                                          • Characteristics
                                                                                                                            • Demographics
                                                                                                                              • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                • Mindful Middles
                                                                                                                                  • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                    • Demographics
                                                                                                                                      • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                        • Cluster characteristics
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 69: Kids as influencers clusters, March 2011
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 70: Attitudes toward kid’s clothing, by kids as influencers clusters, March 2011
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 71: Attitudes toward kid and finances, by kids as influencers clusters, March 2011
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 72: Average weekly spending money/allowance, by kids as influencers clusters, March 2011
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 73: Items kids owns or personally uses, by kids as influencers clusters, March 2011
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 74: Daily time spent by kid on entertainment activities, by kids as influencers clusters, March 2011
                                                                                                                                        • Cluster demographics
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 75: Kids as influencers clusters, by adult gender, March 2011
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 76: Kids as influencers clusters, by kid age, March 2011
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 77: Kids as influencers clusters, by adult age, March 2011
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 78: Kids as influencers clusters, by household income, March 2011
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 79: Kids as influencers clusters, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2011
                                                                                                                                        • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                                        • Custom Consumer Groups: Impact of Marital Status

                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                            • Ability to influence impacted by age and marital status
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 80: Kid influence on last household purchase, by marital status and kid age, March 2011
                                                                                                                                              • Not married parents/guardians more influenced by kids in the grocery store
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 81: Likelihood of purchasing kid’s request at a grocery store, by marital status and kid age, March 2011
                                                                                                                                              • Restaurants appealing to kids are better able to leverage their influence
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 82: Likelihood of letting kid decide restaurant and menu, by marital status and kid age, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                • Kids of unmarried parents/guardians tend to have more influence on toys, tickets, and recreational purchases
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 83: Likelihood of purchasing kid’s entertainment request, marital status and kid age, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Electronics offering companionship and chance to socialize is reflected in higher percentages among unmarried parents/guardians
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 84: Likelihood of purchasing kid’s electronics request, by marital status and kid age, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • Unmarried parents/guardians most influenced by kids on almost all apparel and personal care categories
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 85: Likelihood of purchasing kid’s apparel/personal care request, marital status and kid age, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Married parents/guardians more practical when buying kid’s clothes
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 86: Attitudes toward kid’s clothing, by marital status and kid age, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Both unmarried and married parents/guardians open about family finances
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 87: Attitudes toward kid and finances, by marital status and kid age, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Older kids of unmarried parents/guardians more likely to have social media account
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 88: Items kid owns or personally uses, by marital status and kid age, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix—Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 89: Kid influence on last household purchase, by area and kid age, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 90: Likelihood of purchasing kid’s request at a grocery store, by area and kid age, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 91: Likelihood of letting kid decide restaurant and menu, by area and kid age, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 92: Likelihood of purchasing kid’s entertainment request, by area and kid age, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 93: Likelihood of purchasing kid’s electronics request, by area and kid age, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 94: Attitudes toward kid’s clothing, by area and kid age, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 95: Attitudes toward kid and finances, by area and kid age, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 96: Average weekly spending money/allowance, by area and kid age, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 97: Items kids owns or personally uses, by area and kid age, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix—Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                        • Association of National Advertisers (ANA)
                                                                                                                                                        • Barnes & Noble, Inc
                                                                                                                                                        • Consumer Electronics Association
                                                                                                                                                        • Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                        • Federal Trade Commission
                                                                                                                                                        • Food and Drug Administration
                                                                                                                                                        • Food Marketing Institute
                                                                                                                                                        • Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA)
                                                                                                                                                        • Hasbro Inc
                                                                                                                                                        • Kohl's Corporation
                                                                                                                                                        • McDonald's U.S.A.
                                                                                                                                                        • National Association of Recording Merchandisers
                                                                                                                                                        • National Food Processors Association (NFPA)
                                                                                                                                                        • Recording Industry Association of America [RIAA]
                                                                                                                                                        • Ronald McDonald House Charities
                                                                                                                                                        • Sony Corporation
                                                                                                                                                        • Walmart Stores (USA)
                                                                                                                                                        • Wegmans Food Markets, Inc

                                                                                                                                                        Kids as Influencers - US - June 2011

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