Monday, 31 October 2011

A good start to the day

Do you know how important a good breakfast is for a child? Several studies have shown that children who eat a well balanced, healthy breakfast are more attentive in the classroom, have higher energy levels and concentrate for longer periods of time. According to Kellogg’s, 1 in 6 children don’t eat breakfast. Kellogg’s are currently working on ways of promoting healthier breakfasts and ensuring that children do sit down and eat probably the most important meal of the day. They are supporting breakfast clubs across the UK. These clubs usually take place before school and provide a safe and friendly place for children to get a nutritious breakfast.

Kellogg’s have also introduced a new children’s cereal brand, Mini Max, a healthier cereal choice which is low in saturated fat, high in fibre, a lower salt choice and a source of D and B vitamins and iron. By creating a cereal that meets certain nutritional criteria it means it can be advertised on children’s TV (their other cereals are not currently allowed to be advertised on children’s television). Here at MumPanel we think product development that means children and parents can make healthier food choices can only be a good thing. We hope other food manufacturers will take notice.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Reviews – what our mums think of Mamas and Papas pushchairs

We’ve been working with a very lucky bunch of mums recently – they got to road test (and keep) some gorgeous buggies from Mamas and Papas. We had mums testing both the Mylo and the Urbo - some then gave their opinions on their blogs and here’s a selection.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Mummmmmm I want

We’ve all been there. In the middle of the supermarket and you hear the dreaded words (probably for about the tenth time during the outing) ‘Mummmm I want’ ‘Dadddd can I have’.

What we wanted to know is whether children or grandchildren have a significant say in the grocery brands or products you buy. And once again the results surprised us. We knew from other research we’d done that some parents bend fairly easily to the demands of their children but we actually found that 53% of parents (and grandparents) said that children didn’t have a significant influence on what they purchased in the supermarket.

And the other 46% caved in a little more! But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the products our children influence are unhealthy. In our survey we found the items of grocery shopping that children have the biggest say on are 31% cereal, 21% fruit and 14% yogurts.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Lunchbox lunacy

We’re just a few weeks into the new school year and the lunchbox battles have already started in our house. And we know mums across the country are having similar problems. We recently carried out some research for Soreen and we found that kids have the most say (or try to!) on lunchbox items.

We’d expected that children would want their lunchboxes packed with crisps and chocolate but what we found is that they are just as opinionated about fruit and yogurts. We usually associate pester power with junk food but in fact it seems it also applies to healthy food choices.

We found…

• Lunchbox items were high on children’s food preferences – 17% of mums specifically mentioned lunchboxes (21% mentioned fruit, 19% snacks, 15% yogurts and 7% crisps).
• Children aren’t just influenced by television or other advertising in the supermarket but also by looking in other kids lunchboxes.
• Mums recognise the influence of advertising on their children. Some mums give into the demands of their children but most try and strike a balance between healthy foods and treats.
• Many children are now more clued up about five a day than their parents and are both educating their mums and dads and pestering for healthy alternatives.

Keep your eyes peeled for new products from Soreen early next year.

Monday, 10 October 2011

A good night’s sleep

It’s not often you can spend the day in bed and say you are working. But we think we can get away with this at the moment because we’re working on product testing and new product development with Silentnight Beds. Silentnight are the UK's biggest bed manufacturer and we’re keen to hear what features parents want in a mattress for their child.

We know they have to be robust but do parents want a waterproof cover or hypoallergenic materials? We’ve been asking our panel of thousands of mums, dads and grandparents what they think and then this feeds into the process of new product development.

Getting the right bed can mean the difference between a great night’s sleep and a poor one. A lack of sleep means not just a grumpy child (and mum or dad) but it has an impact on their ability to concentrate at school and even socialise and make friends. We’ll keep you updated on the new Silentnight products.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Positive messages for kids

In the last few years there has been a real movement in the UK to get our children eating healthier food – whether that’s moving them away from a junk food, processed diet or improving the food they eat at school every day. One change we’ve seen is that some food manufacturers are taking on this idea and communicating healthy messages on their food. I was recently in the supermarket with my daughter and she spotted Yoplait yogurts.

Yoplait want to emphasise the goodness in yogurt and they do this by featuring a big bone on the front of their pots. My daughter immediately spotted the bone and told me that yogurt made her bones healthy because of calcium. This allowed me to open up a conversation about healthy eating and food choices and it was good to know that the education she is getting at both home and school is getting through.

One of the many positive benefits of this kind of messaging is that my daughter pesters me for that product – rather than a chocolate bar or junk food. We’re currently working with Soreen on new product development and as we’ve being doing consumer and market research we’re seeing an increasing trend of the introduction of healthier alternatives for children.