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What Children Drink - UK - June 2018

“A wide range of drinks are bought by parents for children. With parents looking for healthier drinks when shopping for their kids and with school policies promoting them, healthier drinks remain a key area for brands to focus on. Single-serve drinks could come under pressure in the coming years, though, as a result of concerns about packaging waste.”

– Richard Caines, Senior Food & Drink Analyst

This report examines the following issues:

  • Health-related messages are important for children’s drinks
  • Parents limit drinking of certain drinks, but kids still have a big say on what gets bought
  • Lunchbox drinks face a number of challenges
  • New flavours and sparkling options are important for experimental kids

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Children and teens outpacing total population growth
              • PHE targets sugar to combat childhood obesity
                • Soft drinks levy comes into effect
                  • New restrictions on advertising targeted at children
                    • Companies and brands
                      • Products for 5-12s account for a small share of drinks launches
                        • Majority of children’s launches are juices and juice drinks
                          • L/N/R sugar claims on two thirds of new launches
                            • On-the-go claims on three in 10 launches
                              • Brands look to packaging to make water more fun for kids
                                • The consumer
                                  • Two thirds of parents buy squash/cordial for their child
                                    • Figure 1: Types of drinks bought for the household and specifically for children, March 2018
                                  • Sugar is parents’ top consideration when buying drinks for kids
                                    • Figure 2: Factors considered most important by parents when choosing drinks for children, March 2018
                                  • Parents try to limit their kids’ intake of fizzy drinks and juice
                                    • Figure 3: Parents’ behaviour in relation to children’s drinking habits, March 2018
                                  • Milk is drunk most at breakfast
                                    • Figure 4: Times of day when children drink different drinks, March 2018
                                  • Schools encourage kids to drink water and healthier drinks
                                    • Figure 5: Children’s drinking behaviour and attitudes, March 2018
                                  • What we think
                                  • Issues and Insights

                                    • Health-related messages are important for children’s drinks
                                      • The facts
                                        • The implications
                                          • Parents limit drinking of certain drinks, but kids still have a big say on what gets bought
                                            • The facts
                                              • The implications
                                                • Lunchbox drinks face a number of challenges
                                                  • The facts
                                                    • The implications
                                                      • New flavours and sparkling options are important for experimental kids
                                                        • The facts
                                                          • The implications
                                                          • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                            • Children and teens outpacing total population growth
                                                              • PHE targets sugar to combat childhood obesity
                                                                • Soft drinks sugar levy comes into effect
                                                                  • New restrictions on advertising targeted at children
                                                                    • School food standards guidance influence lunchbox drinks
                                                                      • Universal Infant School Meals limit sales of ‘lunchbox’ drinks
                                                                        • Deposit return schemes aim to increase recycling
                                                                          • Free water refill stations set to become more widespread
                                                                            • Government consultation on plastic straws
                                                                            • Market Drivers

                                                                              • Children and teens outpacing total population growth
                                                                                • Figure 6: Trends in the age structure of the UK population (0-15-year-olds), by age, 2012-22
                                                                              • Big focus on sugar reduction from PHE
                                                                                • PHE targets sugar to combat childhood obesity
                                                                                  • Soft Drinks Industry Levy comes into effect
                                                                                    • New PHE sugar reduction targets for juice and milk-based drinks
                                                                                      • New restrictions on advertising targeted at children
                                                                                        • Non-broadcast media brought into line with other media
                                                                                          • New limits on juice and milkshake advertising proposed
                                                                                            • Universal Infant Free School Meals and lunchbox policies
                                                                                              • School Food Standards cover all drinks served in schools
                                                                                                • Tackling plastic waste a big issue for the drinks industry
                                                                                                  • Deposit return schemes aim to reduce litter and increase recycling
                                                                                                    • Free water refill stations set to become more widespread
                                                                                                      • Government consultation on plastic straws
                                                                                                      • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                        • Products for 5-12s make up a small share of drinks launches
                                                                                                          • Majority of children’s launches are juices and juice drinks
                                                                                                            • L/N/R sugar claims on two thirds of new launches
                                                                                                              • On-the-go claims on three in 10 launches
                                                                                                                • Vitamin/mineral fortified launches also being seen
                                                                                                                  • Brands continue to push school compliant credential
                                                                                                                    • Brands look to packaging to make water more fun for kids
                                                                                                                    • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                      • Products for children aged 5-12 make up a small share of drink launches
                                                                                                                        • Figure 7: Proportion of new launches in the UK non-alcoholic drinks market making children (5-12) claims, 2013-18
                                                                                                                      • Majority of children’s drinks launches are juices and juice drinks
                                                                                                                        • Figure 8: Breakdown of new drinks launches making children (5-12) claims, by category, 2013-18*
                                                                                                                      • L/N/R sugar claims on two thirds of new launches
                                                                                                                        • No added sugar the biggest focus
                                                                                                                          • Figure 9: Examples of children’s drinks launches making no added sugar claims, 2018
                                                                                                                        • No artificial additives/preservatives a claim on most kids’ drinks
                                                                                                                          • Figure 10: New drinks launches (excluding alcoholic drinks) making children (5-12) claims, by claim (top 20), 2013-18
                                                                                                                        • On-the-go claims on three in 10 launches
                                                                                                                          • Figure 11: Examples of children’s drinks launches making on-the-go claims, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                                                        • Vitamin/mineral fortified and health claims
                                                                                                                          • Figure 12: Up & Go Kids Breakfast Drinks launch, 2018
                                                                                                                          • Figure 13: Examples of drinks launches making vitamin/mineral fortified and health claims, 2018
                                                                                                                        • Brands continue to push school compliant
                                                                                                                          • Figure 14: Examples of children’s drinks launches making ‘schools compliant’ claims, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                                                        • Brands look to packaging to make water and hydration more fun for kids
                                                                                                                          • Figure 15: Examples of character-themed bottled water launches, 2017
                                                                                                                        • Less mess packaging from Ribena Minis
                                                                                                                          • Figure 16: Example of less mess packaging from Ribena Minis, 2017
                                                                                                                        • Tapping into PHE’s 100-calorie snack advice
                                                                                                                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                          • Two thirds of parents buy squash/cordial for their child
                                                                                                                            • Fizzy drinks lag noticeably behind
                                                                                                                              • Sugar is parents’ top consideration when buying drinks for kids
                                                                                                                                • Favourite flavour a bigger consideration for parents than favourite brand
                                                                                                                                  • Parents try to limit their kids’ intake of fizzy drinks and juice
                                                                                                                                    • Children have a big influence on soft drink purchases
                                                                                                                                      • Milk drunk most for breakfast, followed by fruit juice/smoothies
                                                                                                                                        • Squash a popular choice for lunch and dinner
                                                                                                                                          • Schools encourage kids to drink water and healthier drinks
                                                                                                                                            • Half of 10-15s sometimes buy drinks on school days
                                                                                                                                            • Drinks Bought in Household and Those Bought Specifically for Children

                                                                                                                                              • Two thirds of parents buy squash/cordial for their child
                                                                                                                                                • Fruit juice and juice drinks are next most popular choice
                                                                                                                                                  • Fizzy drinks lag noticeably behind
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 17: Types of drinks bought for the household and specifically for children, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                  • Squash and juice drinks bought more for younger children
                                                                                                                                                    • Fizzy drinks are much more common for older kids
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 18: Types of drinks bought specifically for child, by age of child taking part in survey, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                  • Factors Influencing Choice of Drinks for Children

                                                                                                                                                    • Sugar is top consideration when buying drinks for kids
                                                                                                                                                      • Levy cements sugar as source of concern and fuels NPD
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 19: Factors considered most important by parents when choosing drinks for children, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                      • Absence of artificial sweeteners also a big consideration
                                                                                                                                                        • Drinks can help with 5-a-day targets and vitamins/minerals
                                                                                                                                                          • Favourite flavour a bigger consideration than favourite brand
                                                                                                                                                          • Behaviours Related to Children’s Drinking Habits

                                                                                                                                                            • Parents try to limit their kids’ intake of fizzy drinks and juice
                                                                                                                                                              • Biggest concerns surround fizzy drinks
                                                                                                                                                                • Healthy halo of fruit juice has slipped
                                                                                                                                                                  • ‘School approved’ label can make choosing healthier drinks easier
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 20: Parents’ behaviours in relation to children’s drinking habits, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                                  • Children have a big influence on soft drink purchases
                                                                                                                                                                    • Many schools only allow healthy drinks
                                                                                                                                                                      • Plastic straws under pressure
                                                                                                                                                                      • Attitudes towards What Children Drink

                                                                                                                                                                        • Children’s health central to parents’ thinking
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 21: Attitudes towards what children drink, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                                        • Drinking cow’s milk seen as important for children
                                                                                                                                                                          • Flavoured milk bought by a third of parents
                                                                                                                                                                          • Drinks Drunk by Children at Different Times of Day

                                                                                                                                                                            • Milk drunk most typically at breakfast, followed by fruit juice/smoothies
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 22: Times of day when children drink different drinks, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                                            • Squash a popular choice for lunch and dinner
                                                                                                                                                                              • The appeal of squash wanes among over-9s
                                                                                                                                                                                • Fizzy and hot drinks drunk more by older children
                                                                                                                                                                                • Children’s Drinking Behaviour and Attitudes

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Schools encouraging kids to drink water, parents worry about intake
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 23: Children’s drinking behaviour and attitudes, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Most kids report their school follows standards for healthier drinks
                                                                                                                                                                                    • New flavours remain a key means to appeal to kids
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Fizzy drinks appeal to kids, less so to parents
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Over half of children have a favourite drinks brand, many buy drinks for themselves
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Advertising and peer influence affect kids’ preferences
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 24: Incidence of children (5-12) claims in different drinks categories, share of launches in each category, 2013-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 25: Total UK drinks launches (excluding alcoholic drinks), by claim, 2013-18

                                                                                                                                                                                                What Children Drink - UK - June 2018

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