As health-focused millennials become health-focused parents, the food industry needs to prepare for a new child demographic. Kashi, the maker of healthy snack bars and cereals, has partnered with Gen Z kids to develop their very first children’s product line. On Thursday, the company officially introduced Kashi by Kids, which is a collection of organic cereals that were co-created by kids. The cereals come in three flavors: honey cinnamon, cocoa crisp and berry crumble.
These cereal products are made with organic and certified non-GMO ingredients. According to Kashi, each serving has at least 18 grams of whole grains, three grams of fiber and less than eight grams of sugar, which makes them a healthier cereal choice when compared to other cereals that have an average of 19.8 grams of sugar per serving. All three cereal products feature flavored crispy puffs and flavor-filled “pillows” made from chickpeas.
Kashi came up with these cereal products with the help of their “Kashi Crew,” which is comprised of a group of children between the ages of 12 and 17. All five members are passionate about developing healthy recipes and promoting nutritious eating habits.
“I’ve loved being a part of Kashi by Kids and the final product is something that I’m really proud of, as it is the result of passionate collaboration, youth engagement, and love for both the health of humans & the planet,” said Haile Thomas, Kashi Crew member. “We were fully immersed in and educated about the entire process of creating our Kashi by Kids cereal, and it’s amazing to see such a big company like Kashi embrace the views and voices of the next generation.”
This is Kashi’s first step into the child-targeted food industry, however, Kashi seems to be targeting millennial parents as well with this launch. Since millennials are now at the point where they are transitioning from young adults to young parents, they are passing on their healthy eating habits to their Gen Z children. This is why food companies that are looking into the kid’s food industry need to consider the values of their parents first because they ultimately make the final decision on what products to buy for their kids. Thus, by integrating millennial values and incorporating kid-friendly flavors into child product formulations, food companies will be able to attract millennial parents (the purchasers) and their kids (the users).
However, Gen Z has also been found to be interested in healthier foods, which is no surprise since they are learning from their millennial parents. In fact, Mintel found that 25 percent of teens between the ages of 15-17 claim to be worried about staying healthy and 49 percent consider soda as an unhealthy beverage.
“Generation Z has come of age at a time when health and wellness is a major consideration. Many younger members of Generation Z follow their parents’ healthy ways and it seems health-consciousness only gets stronger as they approach adulthood. However, health is multi-faceted for this group, suggesting that better-for-you formulations, such as craveable fruits and vegetables, can be expanded to give this generation options that fit with their ever-changing diet priorities,” said Dana Macke, Associate Director, Lifestyles and Leisure Reports, at Mintel.
Considering the fact that just 11 percent of child-targeted (ages 5-12) food and drink launches in the US between June 2017-May 2018 had no/low/reduced sugar claims, the industry seems to be behind in this trend. This means that Kashi has a really good chance of standing out to millennial parents in this current market.
“At Kashi, we strive to maintain that inventor’s mindset and set out to do the same in our first kids’ products, channeling the creativity and knowledge of kids themselves and combining unexpected ingredients like red lentils and purple corn with nature’s delicious flavors such as honey and cinnamon. The end result is an awesome line of organic cereals with superfood ingredients that parents and kids can feel good about, ” said Jeanne Wilson, Associate Director of Brand Marketing at Kashi.