Over the last two decades, our food choices have undergone tremendous changes. The food we eat and the food we feed is a reflection of the kind of trends we have been exposed to. It would be right to say that millennial parents have played a significant role in shaping these food trends and changing mindsets.
New age parenting is all about making mindful choices and leaning toward holistic and healthy living. This new generation of parents are health conscious, aware and experimental. They look for convenience yet they don’t compromise on quality and nutrition.
Snacks are an essential part of a child’s every day diet. The mini meals that they eat play a crucial role in their overall health. Over the last few years, kids snacking landscape has seen a number of changes. A snack is no longer just another bowl of chips or crackers, parents are now more attentive about what their kids consume in the name of snacks. Retailers and marketers are keeping a close watch on these evolving trends and customizing their products as per the requirements of new age parents.
Following are some of the trends in food segment for kids-
FOOD SPECIFIC TRENDS:
Nutritious and healthy: With growing awareness about healthy eating and holistic health, parents consider nutrition as a leading factor in making food choices for their children. Not only are they more aware, they also ensure that they educate their children about wholesome foods. From restaurants opting for healthy menus to FMCG brands focussing on creating natural and organic snacks, healthy eating is definitely becoming an essential part of our dietary habits. Another interesting trend to notice is the concept of mini-meals in between regular meals. A snack is no longer just an indulgence. It has to cater to the growing nutritional needs of the child. Therefore, anything that’s high in sugar, salt or fat does not qualify as a mini-meal. In addition to this, there is a lot of conversation around health and wellness on social media. Retail brands are rolling out healthier versions of kids snacks with emphasis on low levels of sugar and salt.
Increased focus on gut health: Among healthy snacking options, prebiotic and probiotic snacks are becoming increasingly popular. These snacks made with natural ingredients help increase good bacteria and support digestion and immunity.
Weaning food: A lot of new parents are on the lookout for healthy wholesome weaning food options for their infants. With double income households, it’s difficult for parents to make wholesome grain mixes at home. Since most of them don’t have the luxury of time to make it from scratch, they prefer to buy cereals and grain mixes from trustworthy and clean labels. There is a substantial interest in products like ragi mixes, whole wheat porridge, nut powders etc.
Direct Access to the brand: Selling directly to consumers is becoming increasingly popular among retailers, brands and consumers. For a customer, ordering products on a D2C channel like WhatsApp is easy, flexible and quick. On the other hand, for brands it’s a great way to build stronger relationships with their target audience and to engage with newer categories of customers. In addition to this, due to the current situation and extended stays at home, a lot of parents are happy to order directly from brands rather than waiting to place an order through other online marketplaces that are already inundated with increased traffic. The turnaround time in a direct order is much faster and the whole process offers a seamless experience
Ethos of the brand: The current generation of shoppers don’t just look at the product, they look at the brand as a whole. The ethos, the principles and the values that a brand stands for and what it means to be their customer. There is a lot of emphasis on using organic ingredients, eco friendly packaging, having the right messaging and an appropriate ambassador. Especially when it comes to buying for their children, the principles that a brand portrays is definitely taken into consideration.
Aswani Chaitanya, CEO and Co-Founder, Timios, Bengaluru