According to a new study from market research publisher Packaged Facts, nearly 36 million children in the United States had a combined purchasing power of $18 billion last year. Looking at kids aged 3 to 5, 6 to 8 and 9 to 11, "The Kids Market in the U.S." report said this amount would rise to $21.4 billion in disposable income by 2010.
Families spend more than $115 billion on kids in key consumer areas, such as food, clothing, personal-care items, entertainment, and reading materials, the study said. Almost half of this total, $58.3 billion, is devoted to food expenditures. By Packaged Facts estimates, annual expenditures by families on consumer goods for kids will reach approximately $143 billion by 2010.
"The major industry-wide efforts to proactively respond to kid issues, such as obesity, Internet safety, and the appropriateness of marketing and promotions directly targeting children, have certainly impacted the market," said Don Montuori, the publisher of Packaged Facts. "While these need to continue to be major concerns, marketers would be wise to adapt to the rapidly evolving consumer attitudes and habits of today's media-saturated kids and their families by going beyond what's politically correct to find more meaningful and age-affirming ways to reach this demographic where they are."