Daisy Li
Daisy is an Associate Director with the Mintel Food & Drink team, speciliasing in the China market. She monitors and reports on the latest innovation and trends impacting the Chinese food and drink market.

Today, kids’ food products usually communicate health and safety attributes. However, there is potential for companies in China to take another route and differentiate products through new formats. Manufacturers, companies and brands can take inspiration from toys and apply these concepts to kid-targeted chocolate, confectionery and snack products, elevating appeal to both children and their parents.

Creating fun parent-child bonding moments

Do-it-yourself (DIY) snacks have the potential to offer consumers with fun family time by encouraging parents and their kids to eat and play together. In fact, Mintel research reveals that Chinese parents are showing a strong desire to bond with their kids; almost a third of Chinese consumers say that they bake to interact with their children, while over half of Chinese parents are interested in activities that involve more communication between family members.

Ling Shi Si Ling DIY Handmade Cat Chocolate Bar, China
This children-oriented product contains two dark chocolate jam pens, two milk chocolate jam pens, a strawberry chocolate jam pen, three sticks and a mould.

On top of this, manufacturers, companies and brands can leverage this particular feature to march into a new positioning: interactive food. This opens up an opportunity for manufacturers, companies and brands to gamify snacks targeted at kids.

Kracie Pitagora Chocolates, Japan
This chocolate product can be assembled, lined up and piled up, and is designed to not stick onto the hands. It is targeted at children and may contain monkey-shaped chocolate as a fun surprise.

Princess Wardrobe Milk and Cheese Flavoured Fun Biscuits, China
The biscuits have fun shapes and are said to help kids learn different fashion accessory shapes while eating them.

Potential for kids’ snacks for brain development

Chinese parents attach great importance to their kids’ intelligence and development of creativity, associating these as being crucial for academic achievement. In fact, Mintel research shows that over half of Chinese parents are interested in kids’ food and drink products that are good for intelligence development. Besides adding functional ingredients, such as DHA, into kids’ products to help with the development of intelligence, kids’ snack brands can also leverage the shape, texture or packaging of the product to turn snacks into toys that kids can play with to enhance their intelligence and creativity.

Kracie Chiiku Kashi Neruneru Experiment Sugar Confectionery Kit, Japan
This sugar confectionery product is said to be developed with primary school teachers and mimics that of a science experiment.

Strings & Things Cheestrings Twisted Medium Fat Hard Cheese, UK
This stringy cheese is suitable for vegetarians and is said to fuel children’s creativity while making snack time fun.