Research Outline

Snack Food Purchase - Case Studies


To identify case studies of brands that have benefited from advertising snacks directly to kids.

Early Findings

  • Our preliminary research indicates that marketing food products directly to kids is somewhat controversial in the United States and falls within the grey areas of marketing. Brands are constantly trying to balance their reach with conscious messaging.
  • In the US, the average child watches an estimated 16,000 television commercials a year, and children are often able to recognize brand names by age 3, even before they can read.
  • According to a study, children spend about $200 billion annually on products that interest them, and brands spend $17 billion annually targeting the group.
  • The most popular snacks among kids include Oreo, M&M's, and Doritos, according to a survey by Winsight, a leading B2B information services company that focuses on the food and beverage industry.
  • Due to scrutiny around targeting kids with ads, brands generally refrain from advertising directly to kids or sharing any information around their efforts on that front. In March 2020, Unilever announced that it would no longer advertise foods and beverages to children under the age of 12 in traditional media, and below 13 via social media channels.