Kids’ Growing Influence On Purchase Decisions

April 14, 2014
Consumer Kids-and-Teens Moms Trends

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Cooperative decision-making is the new trend as parents ask for kids’ input on everything from breakfast cereal to luxury cars.

Parents are increasingly lettings kids dictate, or at least have a vote on, purchases ranging from breakfast food to large ticket items like TVs, cars and vacation destinations. “Decision-making within families today is almost entirely collaborative — and as kids become more influential, they’re impacting purchasing decisions,” says Christian Kurz, vice president of research at Viacom International Media Networks.

Kid's Influence on Meal Decisions

Girls tend to have more influence because they are more aware of items in the house and have more retail experience, says Renee Weber, VP Consumer Strategy & Research for The Marketing Store Worldwide. Older kids, not surprisingly, also have more influence because they have more knowledge and are able to form and state their opinions more clearly. The NPD Group surveyed moms in 2012 and the results revealed that parents let their kids choose what they’ll eat

for breakfast more than 30% of the time and about 25% of the time for lunch. Dinner is still firmly in the parents’ control, though, with only 3% of kids choosing the food for that meal. When pulling into the drive-thru, kids pick what to eat 85% of the time according to a Nickelodeon study.


Purchases Influenced by Children According to Moms

·   73% Ice Cream
·   71% Fruit
·   54% Baked Goods
·   53% Salty Snacks
·   48% Yogurt

Quick Stats: Kids & Shopping

·   79% of 6-11 year-olds like shopping.
·   50% like it a lot.
·   Candy is the #3 favorite item for kids to shop for.
·   Kids enjoy sensory experiences when shopping. For example, Abercrombie & Fitch stores have large photos, dark lights, loud music and strong aromas.

100% of moms taks their kids to the grocery store, whether rarely, often or always. Why? 

·   63% They're already with me.
·   46% Can't leave them at home.
·   43% For enjoyment.
·   12% for help.

What Kids Like About the Shopping Experience:

·   40% Bonding with parents

·   20% Looking around

·   7% helping

·   7% Getting things for themselves

·   5% Getting out of the house

Kid's Influence on Household & Family Decisions

·   25% of parents ask their kids for advice before buying items for themselves.

The ad agency Digitas also released a report in 2012 that speaks to the turning trend of child involvement in household decisions. The company says families are acting more like democracies and treating kids “more like adults than ever before.” Digitas also reported noting a trend of children “showing preference for adult things” such as iPads. The Nickelodeon study reports this idea of more democratic households. Their results state that more than half of parents seek their kids’ input in general, and just under half say their family discusses and decides major decisions together. Regarding purchase decisions specifically, 71% of parents said they solicit options from their kids. When the item being purchased is for the child, most parents let the child weigh in on the decision, and more than two-thirds of parents take their kids’ views into consideration when making family purchases. Surprisingly, kids even get to cast a vote when the items being purchased are not ones they’ll use personally. For example, consulting with children before purchasing a car is up 20% over the last three years — that’s almost three out of five parents who are asking for their kids’ opinion on the family’s new ride. “We discovered some adults let their kids pick out the luxury cars that they buy,” Lexus general manager Mark Templin told Advertising Age magazine.

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