Food Marketers Focus on Teens and Tweens

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Apr 30, 2002
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Creating a brand attitude has proven effective in winning the kid dollar, reports Prepared Foods Magazine. Tweens (ages 6-12 years old) are regarded as the “powerhouse” of the consolidated kids market, spending close to $14 billion a year and influencing more than $128 billion in family spending, according to industry statistics. Meanwhile, the nation’s 23 million 12-17 year olds eat, on average, 4.33 times each day.

Tweens have fallen into a sudden largess of spending. Consultants attribute it to a changing society that once saw parents rule over their tweens’ money has evolved to where today’s tweens not only have more money to buy things, but they have the parents’ blessing to spend it. “In the past, we targeted Moms who bought Bagel Bites for their tweens,” says Richard Yoder, senior product manager for the Heinz-owned brand that’s a hit with kids. “Now we’re targeting end-users who get allowances, have jobs and are brand-conscious.”

One thing food marketers have learned about connecting with kids is that brands have to possess attitude, either in the essence of the name or through marketing campaigns. Many kids need a brand to represent more than attitude, they insist on instant gratification through interaction or instant prizes. Or, they want deferred gratification from brand-sponsored contests.

Moderator Comment: Should food retailers leave marketing
to teens and tweens solely to the brand manufacturers or create their own targeted
programs?

The cynic’s view: If you want something done right, do
it yourself. Just make sure you get the manufacturers to pick up the tab. [George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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