Edward Bergen
Ed Bergen is a Global Food & Drink Analyst experienced in identifying FMCG trends and applying analysis to client projects to highlight opportunities in their categories.

While nearly all parents agree that it is important that kids know how to cook, the number of kids that actually feel confident to cook is relatively low. This presents an opportunity for food companies to support parents and help kids learn cooking skills, as well as better understand what they put in their bodies.

By focusing on teaching kids to create meals themselves, food companies can drive interest in and usage of more uncommon flavours and ingredients, while also helping parents to expand their flavour choices. This should prove popular in Germany: over half the population (52%) would like to see a wider variety of sauces that are tailored to children.

While finding ways to get together as a family are limited, meal times are still seen as family time. By including all members of the family in meal preparation and cooking, food companies and brands can help consumers carve out more time spent together.

Parents want their kids to be self-sufficient

Mintel data from the UK shows, that other than cookery skills and building a strong relationship with healthy food, parents are also attracted to new ways to expand their kids’ palates. Many parents look to sauce brands to support them in bringing new flavours into the home. Even more parents agree that helping children learn to cook with cooking/pasta sauce kits is a good idea. This mirrors the high value parents attach to teaching children how to cook from scratch, with the overwhelming majority of parents of 7-15 year olds deeming it important.

Brands need to create solutions for the whole family

In recent years some brands have targeted children, generally through the key messages of ‘low sugar’, ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ or through smaller portions, and often exploring flavours from around the world. However, to date, this development is still niche, with little to no activity actually supporting kids’ involvement in the cooking process.

Brands could target kids with simple recipe instructions, rather than just targeting the adult with ‘healthy’ kid-friendly claims. In the future, retailers and brands could explore kits for parents and kids to do together, through cross-featuring ingredients in store, coupled with tiered levels of activity, such as beginner, intermediate and advanced.