According to consumer researcher the Hartman Group, today's children, taught to eat well by their health-conscious parents, are highly informed about the nutritional profile of the foods they eat and form healthy food preferences that will carry through into adult life.
"While these children haven't quite entered the marketplace as consumers, they soon will, armed with different taste preferences and brand experiences that are re-shaping the health and wellness world," it said, adding, for many children, "natural/organic brands are the only brands experienced at home. This new generation of wellness consumers thinks that it's normal to eat organic vegetables, free-range eggs, grass fed beef and drink hormone-free milk."
Hartman noted there has been a shift away from reliance and trust in big brands to 'distinctions and authenticity.' "By 'distinctions,' we mean the differences between how something was made (small batches vs. mass-produced), by whom (niche vs. multi-national company), and from what (organic vs. artificial ingredients). By authenticity we mean the real deal, true and consistent (values-driven), and closest to nature." Organic produce commonly met these standards as it was shorthand for purity, natural ingredients, high quality and ultimately healthier. "Parents are willing to branch out to different organic products because they view organic as an 'insurance policy' for their children's health."
Hartman added: "The repercussions for food marketers of an entire generation of children brought up during an evolution of food culture cannot be underestimated?Current teachings are evolving, in terms of how kids are spoken to through public health messaging, schools and by parents at home, but the seeds of a new cultural outlook on sugar, salt and fat and how diet and exercise can benefit the body are paving the way for a new generation of consumers seeking fresh, unprocessed, high-quality products."