This week saw the end of summer holidays in the UK, with many British children now ‘back to school’.
And while a host of manufacturers promote the suitability of their products for the lunchbox or lunchtime occasion, few brands or private labels have looked to position their products as being overtly suitable as an after school snack, potentially missing out on a lucrative snacking occasion.
Indeed, Mintel’s research shows that snacking is ingrained amongst British children, with the vast majority (86%%) of kids aged 7-15 who snack doing so at least once a day, while more than half (52%%) snack constantly or several times a day.

Snack infographic
Similarly to the adult snacking market, where 48% of adults say that they snack when hungry between meals, 46% of UK children say that they only eat snacks when they are hungry, while 17% of parents show interest in snacks that keep their kids fuller for longer. This suggests a role for satiety as a marketing message also in kids’ snacks, particularly around the after school/pre-dinner occasion.
Parents are adopting a collaborative approach to choosing snacks for their children, with around half (49%) admitting that they tend to buy snacks their child prefers or that the child has a say on what they snack on (40%), with agreement with these statements rising as the child grows. This suggests that while parents retain a gatekeeper role, attempting to steer their children towards healthier choices (59% try to encourage their child to eat healthier snacks), they are allowing them to have a say on their snacking choices.

This demonstrates the need for snack brands to take a two-pronged approach towards marketing activity and NPD, aiming to reassure parents that they are delivering on health while not compromising on taste or quality for their child.

For more information, see Mintel’s Kids’ Snacking Report – UK 2013.

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