Kids may not always make sound food choices, but don’t be fooled: They know from healthy. In a recent study by Technomic and C3, a youth-focused brand marketing agency, 9 out of 10 kids surveyed recognized fresh whole fruits and vegetables are healthy. About three-quarters also identified salad, steamed vegetables and eggs as healthful options. And more than half said the same about fish, cheese, chicken and peanut butter.
“Kids are now health savvy, and the nutritional education they’ve received will impact their choices as consumers,” says Darren Tristano, Technomic’s executive vice president. “Health halo attributes related to natural, organic, local and sustainable foods could present an opportunity in the coming years for restaurants that recognize this growing awareness on the part of young consumers.”
Among other findings, gathered from a May 2009 survey of 1,500 mothers and 1,200 children aged 6-12, are the following:
• Older kids—no surprise here—want different foods than their younger counterparts. Mature kids are more likely to choose steak, seafood and salads; the under-9 set are likely to opt for chicken fingers, pizza and french fries.
• Moms see fast-casual and family-style restaurants as less kid-friendly than quick-service spots. Chick-fil-A and McDonald’s scored highest in this category; Fuddrucker’s and Applebee’s were seen as the most kid-friendly non-quick-service choices.
• Mothers value consistent food quality, cleanliness, value and consistently good service above all in choosing a brand.
The findings are part of the new “Kids & Moms Consumer Trend Report.” For more information, visit www.foodpubs.com.
And check out Emeril Lagasse’s take on kids’ meals