Marketing to Children Consumers

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Marketing Research:

Children's Breakfast Cereal Consumer Report

Investigation to identify key influences that determine children's consumer behaviour and knowledge of branded cereals

Investigation into the effects of key influences on children's consumer behaviour and brand knowledge to determine a new marketing strategy.

Executive summary

This research aims to identify key influences that effect children's consumer behaviour and brand knowledge in relation to the children's cereal industry. As children are becoming increasingly powerful in today's market with the demise of the nuclear family fostering the ‘guilt' compensation culture children today have more autonomy and more influence in what they purchase. This has lead increase interest from marketers in the cereal industry pursuing new, alternative and inventive marketing strategies to captivate and ever youthful buyer.

2.Cereal Sector Analysis6
4.What is Marketing?8
5.Children as Consumers9
6.Factors that influence children's consumer behaviour and brand knowledge11 6.1Parents11
6.3Mass Media12
6.4Pester Power13
6.5Food Packaging13
7.1Methodology Selection14
7.2Approach Justification14
7.3Gaining Access15
7.4Ethic in researching children15
7.6Type of research chosen and method adopted16
7.7Sample Frame16
7.8Type of sample17
7.9Research Reliability17
7.10Research Validity17
7.11Limitations of the research17
8.Results section19
8.1Family Role Results19
8.2TV Question Results21
8.3School and Peer Question Results24
8.4Children's Question Results25
8.5Results Analysis27
12.Appendix 131
13.Appendix 232


Children today represent an important demographic to marketers (PDF), having their own purchasing power whilst still being able to influence the decisions of adults they represent a significant part of the food market segment. It is important today that marketers understand that children are their current and future consumers and as such they need to determine how best to market their products to achieve competitive advantage and create brand awareness. Lavidge and Stiener (1961) also agree and state that "there are potentially large rewards for companies who build brand awareness and preference among the young, knowing about brand may well be the first step to future purchases." In addition Fisher (1991) also suggested that children as young as 3 can recognise brand logos.

As children are becoming of increasing value to marketers this research proposes to identify what factors influence children's purchasing behaviour and brand awareness of food. This research will concentrate on cereals and cereal snack bars in order to determine the most prominent factor and thus propose an appropriate market strategy based on empirical research collected.

Today, the food industry is one of the major players in the field of advertising (Hastings et, al 2003). In the UK alone advertising spend on promotion per year is £743 million. With £522 million spent on television and £32 million in children's airtime.(Sonia Livingston 2005) With the most consistent advertisements being dominated by the ‘big five' groups of foods that consist of pre-sugared cereals, soft drinks, confectionary, savoury snacks and fast food. Breakfast cereals hold a significant part of the grocery sector with over 90% of the UK households buying them. In 2000, 414,000 tons of breakfast cereals were sold in the UK at a retail value of £1.1 billion making it an important area for study to identify its future promotional direction. ( 2003).

2.Cereal Sector Analysis

Today children's food promotion is dominated by the advertisement of the so called ‘big four' food...
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