Consumer Trends: Food Marketing to Children Continues to Grow

According to recent research, the market for children’s food and beverages has grown to a $10 billion per year industry. Food packaging technologies are becoming increasingly diversified, helping brands meet the unique needs of distinct consumer groups, including younger audiences.

Philadelphia, Pa. (Crown Holdings) — According to the latest research from, the market for children’s food and beverages has grown to a $10 billion per year industry. Against this background, food packaging technologies are becoming increasingly diversified, helping brands meet the unique needs of distinct consumer groups, including younger audiences. CROWN Food Packaging North America, a business unit of Crown Holdings, Inc., offers a broad range of packaging options that are child-friendly, serving to strengthen brand identity and engage a new generation of consumers, while offering parents and families the benefits of safe and nutritious food choices.

The Federal Trade Commission has calculated the total amount spent a year on food marketing to children and teens at $1.79 billion, highlighting a significant opportunity for brand owners to target packaging at that demographic. Since packaging is the last thing a consumer sees before completing a purchase, it is perhaps the most effective way to promote a product. Within packaging for children, the opportunities to connect with consumers are multiple – not only are children themselves increasingly making purchases, but packaging must resonate with parents as well. Today’s children are also tomorrow’s purchasing decision makers, and consumer loyalty established now can help brands in the future.

“Crown sees that by catering to the needs of children, we are able to add value for our customers who want to connect their brand positively with a young audience,” said Hella Gourven, Marketing Manager, Crown. “At the same time, healthy eating starts at the point of purchase, and families can encourage good food decisions through the food and packages that they select.”

Children are a strong consumer demographic in their own right and require a separate approach to package design that reflects convenience and easy opening. A package that is simple to open makes food products more manageable for younger consumers, and Crown’s PeelSeam™ peelable ends ease product accessibility without the need for a can opener. Controlling portion size and increasing portability are other ways that brands can tailor packaging to children, and smaller cans for snack-sized servings makes food lunchbox-ready as well as suitable for pantries at home. Metal cans are ideal for lunchboxes because they are shelf-stable and don’t require ice packs to keep food fresh and safe to eat. They are also enjoyable for children to eat from as they are a refreshing alternative to other packaging formats.

Parents themselves benefit from food packaging targeted at kids. Preparation of canned foods is easy, requiring only at most that the food be heated up and served, making eating healthy, well-balanced foods a simple and enjoyable experience for the whole family. Food cans lock in freshness and nutrients, without imparting flavor or adversely affecting the taste or quality of the product inside. Parents, who typically represent the health-conscious buying power in the household, can be confident that the nutritional needs of children are addressed when buying food in cans, while the format’s affordability helps families stay on budget during difficult times. At the same time, food cans have an unprecedented safety record being both tamper-evident and tamper-resistant, helping to alleviate safety concerns.

Adults and the younger, more environmentally conscious consumer base, also benefit from the sustainability of food cans. With metal packaging being both 100% and infinitely recyclable, consumers are reassured that food cans are fully recyclable and actually contribute to the creation of future cans. These attributes are even more beneficial as they are not only a great tool to teach children about the environmental benefits of recycling, but also a means for brands to gain recognition as socially-responsible companies.

Brand recognition and product appeal are important no matter which demographic a company is aiming to connect with. Technologies like shaping and printing are a powerful tool for increasing recognition and boosting identity and brand owners can leverage these capabilities to meet their goals. Innovations like bowl-shaped cans, for example, provide new opportunities to encourage the inclusion of canned foods in school lunches. Brands are also able to take advantage of the efficiencies afforded metal cans to enjoy savings both to costs and their logistical operations.

About Crown Holdings, Inc.

Crown Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is a leading supplier of packaging products to consumer marketing companies around the world. World headquarters are located in Philadelphia, PA. For more information, visit



More in Packaging