Feeding children's desires? Child and parental perceptions of food promotion to the “under 8s”

Shaun Powell (Senior Lecturer in Marketing at the School of Management and Marketing, Faculty of Commerce, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia)
Stephanie Langlands (Teacher at Murrayburn Primary School, Edinburgh, UK. Chris Dodd is a Lecturer in Marketing at the School of Management and Languages, Heriot‐Watt University, Edinburgh, UK)
Chris Dodd (Lecturer in Marketing at the School of Management and Languages, Heriot‐Watt University, Edinburgh, UK)

Young Consumers

ISSN: 1747-3616

Publication date: 14 June 2011

Abstract

Purpose

Extant research downplays the influence of children under the age of eight on food‐related decision making and consumption within families. This paper seeks to address this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

Utilising novel techniques to elicit responses, the research employed focus group and interviews of a sample of children aged between three and eight years and a sample of their parents.

Findings

The exploratory findings of this study suggest that younger children apply effective if less sophisticated pestering techniques than older children, and play a significant role in determining family food consumption. They demonstrate a purposeful and directed pursuit of food brands and products, along with an awareness of the purpose of promotion and a desire to use a number of persuasive techniques in their dealings with parents. This contradicts some of the existing thinking that younger children in the 3‐8 year age group have little/less influence on purchasing food.

Originality/value

This research offers a number of contributions in that it presents the views of both children and parents, and uses novel techniques through visual representations of feelings and emotions to elicit findings.

Keywords

Citation

Powell, S., Langlands, S. and Dodd, C. (2011), "Feeding children's desires? Child and parental perceptions of food promotion to the “under 8s”", Young Consumers, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 96-109. https://doi.org/10.1108/17473611111141560

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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