Healthy heart ‘top priority for parents’
New York, October 17, 2012
The top benefits parents want their children to receive from eating healthy foods relate to heart health, reduced risk of disease, brain development and immunity, according to a recent survey.
Parents from around the world were given a list of benefits their children may receive from eating healthy foods and asked to rank which benefits were most important.
The latest findings from the study conducted by Ipsos Marketing showed that on a global basis, healthy heart was ranked highest in importance, followed closely by reduced risk of disease later in life, better brain development and better immunity.
Differences in priorities were found to exist across countries. For example, heart health was most important to parents in Spain, Turkey, Belgium, Russia, and Great Britain. Reduced risk of disease was most important to parents in France, Italy, Sweden and Germany.
Lauren Demar, global CEO, Ipsos Marketing, consumer goods and shopper, said: “It is not surprising that parents in different countries have different motivations for feeding their children healthy foods.”
“They are influenced by their unique value systems, availability of different foods and medicines in their countries, and messages they receive from their local media and governments. Interestingly, governments not only influence consumers, but also exert an increasing influence on food manufacturers.”
“Clearly, parents want their children to eat healthy foods and have specific expectations about the benefits their children will receive – from heart and brain health to disease prevention and immunity.”
Increasingly, parents are finding more support from their local governments as new regulations may force sweeping changes about how packaged foods are marketed to children, she said.
Legislation already exists in several countries that restrict food advertising to children, including Sweden, Norway, Canada, UK, South Korea and France.
Most recently, the US is proposing that foods advertised to children must meet certain criteria in terms of the healthy ingredients they contain. The World Health Organisation is getting involved – by making recommendations to its member states to limit children’s exposure to the marketing of less healthy food options.
“Manufacturers are feeling the pressure from all angles to market healthier food to children,” Demar said. “Parents are demanding nutritious and functional foods to serve their children while new regulations are restricting marketing efforts for less healthy food options.”
“At the same time, manufacturers need to appeal to children by offering great-tasting food with ‘kid appeal’, as children still influence food purchases in many countries.”
“It is a whole new world for marketers – but we are already seeing them step-up to the challenge. Today we see healthy options for kids in a wide range of categories, including beverages (juice boxes fortified with calcium), dairy (milk with DHA Omega-3), cereal (gluten-free options), and snacks (fruit chews containing Vitamin C).”
“As for tomorrow, we can expect innovations in kids’ foods that go beyond health basics, such as vitality boosting snacks, beverages to replace snack occasions, and hunger-suppression products – and we can expect new marketing strategies that will be just as exciting.”
Interviews for the survey were carried out between February 2 and June 13, 2011. An international sample of 18,680 adults aged 16-64 were interviewed in a total of 24 countries.
Among the total sample, 6,654 parents were identified with children under the age of 18. The countries included Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and US. – TradeArabia News Service