How Imbibe Balances Nutrition and Appeal in Children’s Food & Beverage

 In Food & Beverage Insider, Press

press children'sFormulating to please both young palates and parents’ values is no easy feat, but creative food and beverage brands are making headway.

General initiatives for committing to healthier lifestyles have prompted growth in children’s food and beverage, with U.S. retail sales reaching $70 billion in 2021, according to Packaged Facts.

The recent push is driven by parents who are on the hunt for different sources of protein, lower-sugar products, vitamins, and other nutrients that support healthy development. Adults need convenient options to fuel their children, but proprietary Imbibe-commissioned 2022 research indicated 41% of parents surveyed agreed existing convenient breakfast options available for kids are not nutritious.

While significant opportunity exists, formulating for the prepubescent palate and parents’ values is no easy feat. Brainiac is attempting to deliver a product line at this intersection, with the release of its Brain Bars in mid-2021. They contain omega-3s, choline and lutein to support areas such as brain, eye and gut health. However, providing healthy snacks to kids is not always easy. In fact, due to resource constraints (time and money) and picky eaters, 36% of parents struggle to find something fast and easy, while 26% stated they are unable to find options that are both satisfying to kids and parent-approved nutritionally.

While products like fruit juice pouches can be convenient and cost-effective choices for busy families, parents want products that lean away from added sugars and turn to natural sweeteners like stevia and monk fruit. When asked what product claims they found most appealing, “10 vitamins and minerals,” “1 serving of fruit and veggies” and “10 g of protein” were in the top three among parents.

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