FOOD FOR KIDS: Euromonitor finds just 15% of parents are happy with their child’s eating habits

By Mary Ellen Shoup

- Last updated on GMT

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Related tags Food for kids kids nutrition Euromonitor

Over two-thirds of parents (67%) worldwide said they want to improve their child’s eating habits, according to Euromonitor International's 2019 Health and Nutrition Survey.

The survey​, which included over 20,000 respondents across 20 global markets, revealed that roughly 15% of parents in developed markets such as the US are “happy”​ with their child’s current eating habits and just over 35% of parents surveyed that they “do not pay attention​” to their child’s eating and drinking habits.

“As consumers around the world are putting more emphasis on what they are consuming in order to maintain their health, parents are looking to incorporate these healthy habits in their children’s diets and lifestyles as well,”​ wrote Amrutha Shridhar, Euromonitor research consultant of consumer trends.

“Meal prep and creating interesting lunches for school and for work has been rising in popularity over the last few years, with convenience, time saving and healthy eating driving this behavior. Brands and companies that encourage these kinds of behaviors by providing simple recipes along with their products are likely to resonate with these consumers.”

Euromonitor’s survey also revealed that just under 40% of parents in developed markets worldwide plan their child’s meals in advance and roughly 60% surveyed that their child eats healthier food during the week than on the weekends.

Ingredient preferences for kids’ food and drinks

According to the global survey, the top three ingredient preferences for parents in developed markets are ‘free from preservatives’ (35%), ‘has limited or no added sugar’ (33%), and ‘is all natural’ (32%).

“This further emphasizes the growing trend that parents are being more considerate about what they are feeding their children and moving away from processed food and artificial ingredients,” ​noted Shridhar.

“As child obesity and sedentary lifestyles remain a concern for parents, brands and companies that clearly emphasize low sugar features along with importance on active lifestyles are likely to be successful with parents in developed markets.”

Barriers to healthy eating

According to the survey, the top barrier to healthy eating for parents is that their child is a picky eater (46%) and roughly 35% of parents responded that their child “does not enjoy the taste of healthy food”.

Another hurdle for busy parents is that they “do not have enough time to cook”​ (17%).

Because of these common barriers, parents are consistently on the look out for healthier spins to their child’s favorite foods which also are easy to prepare.

“Parents looking to feed their children healthy alternatives to their usual favorites may be willing to try new products and brands in order to appease their children,”​ said Shridhar.

“Therefore, brands and companies that provide healthy alternatives such as products that focus on natural ingredients, high vegetable and fruit counts as well as high fiber, vitamins and nutrients, are likely to win over new customers. If these products are convenient to use and competitively priced alongside being healthy, they are even more likely to resonate with parents around the world.”

What are parents’ wishes and concerns about today’s food industry? Find out during a live consumer parents panel taking place on the opening night of FoodNavigator-USA’s FOOD FOR KIDS summit​ on Monday, Nov. 18 in downtown Chicago.

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear what real parents have to say about the food and beverages sold for their kids.


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