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The Kids Market in the U.S.

Forces such as recurring parental and governmental concerns about child obesity, safety on the Internet, and the appropriateness of marketing and promotions directly targeting children continue to have an impact on the kids market in the U.S. In addition to addressing these external challenges, companies active in the kids market also need to adapt to the rapidly evolving consumer attitudes and habits of media-saturated kids and their families.

The Kids Market in the U.S., the 7th edition of this popular Packaged Facts report, addresses the needs of firms marketing products and services designed for the 36 million kids in the 3- to 11-year-old age group. The report drills deep into data from the Fall 2005 Simmons Kids National Consumer Survey to create detailed profiles of key consumer segments in the kids market.

The report begins with an assessment of demographic trends affecting the kids market, such as population growth rates in key age and multicultural segments, and provides insights into the attitudes and feelings of kids about their families and friends. The report proceeds to focus on areas of vital concern to marketers active in the kids market. One chapter of the report analyzes sources of kids’ income and their attitudes toward spending and saving. Another chapter explores the extent to which kids control their own destinies as consumers in areas such as entertainment, apparel, food, and toys. The report goes on to provide critically important insights into key aspects of the kids market, including profiles of trendsetting, fashion-forward kids; an assessment of parents’ and kids’ perceptions of advertising effectiveness; an in-depth look at when “kids” become “tweens”; and marketing issues and media trends affecting the preschooler segment of the kids market. A detailed evaluation of the media usage habits and a comprehensive analysis of the leisure-time activities of kids are provided. The report concludes with chapters on the size and growth of the buying power of kids and an assessment of marketing and advertising trends and strategic trends and opportunities.

Report Methodology
The information in The Kids Market in the U.S. is based on both primary and secondary research. Primary research involved interviews with experts, public relations and industry analysts in firms that specialize in youth and urban market research. The report features unique analysis based on the Simmons Market Research Bureau Fall 2005 National Consumer Survey and Fall 2005 Kids National Consumer Survey. Secondary research entailed data-gathering from relevant trade, business, and government sources, including company literature.

About the Authors
Dr. Robert Brown and Ms. Ruth Washton have written more than 25 Packaged Facts reports analyzing demographic trends and marketing strategies in key consumer segments. Topics have ranged from kids to mature consumers to multicultural groups such as Hispanics and African Americans. Dr. Brown and Ms. Washton have co-authored several Financial Times Business Reports on strategic business issues and have provided market and competitor intelligence studies for clients in a variety of industries. Dr. Brown has a B.S. from Georgetown University and a Ph.D. degree from The George Washington University. Ms. Washton has a B.A from Skidmore College and an M.A. from the State University of New York.

How You Will Benefit from this Report
If your company is interested in understanding and reaching the kids market, you will find this report invaluable, as it provides a comprehensive package of information and insight about 3-11-year-old consumers not offered in any other single source. You will gain a thorough understanding of the current demographic profile of the child population. Contributing to that understanding will be a complete analysis of data from published and trade sources, and in-depth examinations of the economic and societal trends that influence the consumer behaviors of this large and influential segment of the population. Plus, you’ll benefit from extensive data, presented in easy-to-read and practical charts, tables and graphs.

This report will help:

  • Marketing Managers identify market opportunities and develop targeted promotion plans for children’s products.
  • Research and development professionals stay on top of competitor initiatives and explore demand for products targeting the 3-11-year-old population.
  • Advertising agencies to develop messages and images that compel kids (or their parents) to purchase these products.
  • Business development executives understand the dynamics of the market and identify possible partnerships.
  • Information and research center librarians provide market researchers, brand and product managers and other colleagues with the vital information they need to do their jobs more effectively.


  • Executive Summary
    • Introduction
      • Background
      • Overview of Report
    • Scope and Methodology
      • Scope of Report
      • Methodology
    • Demographic Profile
      • Kids Population Totals 36 Million
      • Kids Population to Experience Below-Average Growth
      • Population of Multicultural Kids Will Grow in Importance
    • Life at Home and at School
      • America's Kids Live in Wide Variety of Family Environments
      • Family Environment of Kids Varies by Race, Education, and Income
      • Kids Still Value Family
      • Kids Attend School at Younger Ages
      • Older Kids Lose Interest in School
      • Majority Want to Go to College
      • Tween Boys Most Likely to See Value of Friends, but Girls More Likely to Stay in Touch Online
    • Kids and Money: Spenders vs. Savers
      • Majority of Kids Do Chores to Earn Money
      • More Boys Want to Be Rich
      • Girls Save More
      • Higher-Income Kids More Likely to Be Savers
    • When Kids Rule: Consumer Autonomy among Kids
      • Kids' Freedom Varies by Product and Service
      • Tween Girls Enjoy Most Autonomy as Consumers
      • High-Income Parents Exercise More Control over Kids' Fashion Choices and Less Influence over Entertainment Decisions
      • Girls Get Dolls They Want Regardless of Family Income
      • African American Kids Most Likely to Get to Visit Favorite Fast-Food Restaurant
      • College Educated Parents Less Likely to Indulge Kids
      • Affluent Kids Have More Impact on Parents' Brand Choices
    • Key Consumer Insights
      • Trendsetting Kids Mirror Profile of Older Counterparts
      • Kids in More Affluent Households Less Susceptible to Ads
      • Parental Attitudes toward Advertising to Kids Vary Widely
      • Parents of Preschoolers More Negative toward Advertising
      • Even Preschoolers Have Impact on Parents' Choice of Brands
      • Preschoolers Now Part of Internet Generation
      • Some Preschoolers Shop Online
      • Interest in Fashion Begins to Kick in at Ages 8 and 9
      • Consumer Autonomy Jumps at Age 9
      • Kids' Rooms Start to Become Home Entertainment and Social Centers at Age 9
      • Many Preadolescent Kids Remain Kids rather than Becoming Tweens
    • Media Usage
      • Affluent Kids less Involved with Traditional Media
      • Nickelodeon Magazine Ranks Highest with Kids
      • Younger Kids Entranced by Television
      • Many Kids Unhappy with Program Choices
      • Nearly Half of Kids Watch TV for 1 to 3 Hours Every Day
      • Older Kids Tune in More Channels
      • Radio More Important to Older Kids
      • One out of Four Tweens Has Computer in Room
      • More Girls Use Computers
      • Younger Boys Like Computers More but Girls Catch Up When They Get Older
      • Internet Attracts More Girls
      • Internet Has Universal Appeal for Kids
      • Online Activities Identified
    • Leisure and Entertainment Choices of Kids
      • Love of Movies Transcends Demographic Boundaries
      • Fast Food Remains Universally Popular among Kids
      • Older Kids Look for Good Food, Younger Kids for Good Toys and Prizes
      • Kids' Rooms Loaded with Electronics
      • Affluent Kids less Likely to Have TV in Room
      • Kids More Likely to Buy than Rent DVDs
      • Music Becomes More Important as Kids Grow Up
      • CD Players Kids' Leading Choice for Audio Equipment
      • Relatively Few Kids Own MP3 Players
      • Online Game Players More Affluent
      • As They Get Older, More Girls and Fewer Boys Read Books
      • Tween Girls Remain Interested in Traditional Toys
      • Dolls Continue to Interest Older Girls
    • Size and Growth of the Kids Market
      • Buying Power of Kids Tops $18 Billion
      • Families Spend More than $115 Billion for Kids in Key Consumer Areas
      • Kids Buying Power Will Total $21.4 Billion in 2010
    • Trends and Opportunities
      • Parental and Governmental Concerns about Child Obesity Continue to Affect Kids Market
      • Food Marketers Incorporate Focus on Kids' Health into Strategies
      • Kids TV Responds to Critics
      • Kids Marketing Strategies Change as Families Evolve
      • Media Giants Shift Focus to Youngest Kids
      • Traditional Media Losing Hold on Affluent Kids and Parents
      • Television Advertising Continues to Lose Ground in Kids Market
      • Multi-tasking Kids Get Harder and Harder to Reach
      • Comprehensive Marketing Approaches Needed More than Ever to Reach Kids
      • Opportunities in Key Kids Market Segments Highlighted
      • Cell Phone Marketers Tap into Kids Market to Continue Growth
  • The Social World of Kids
    • Demographic Profile
      • Size of the Kids Population
        • Table Size of Kids Population by Single Year of Age, 2004 (in thousands)
        • Table Kids as Percent of Total U.S. Population, 2004 (in thousands)
        • Table Percent of Males and Females by Selected Age Groups, 2004
      • Population Growth Trends
        • Table Selected Age Groups as Percent of Total Population, 2005 vs. 2010
        • Table Projected Growth in the Kids Population by Age Group, 2005 vs. 2010 (in thousands)
        • Table Population of 3-to 11-Year-Olds by Race and Hispanic Origin, 2004 (in thousands)
        • Table Non-Hispanic Whites and Multicultural Population Groups as Percent of U.S. Population by Age Group, 2004
        • Table Race and Hispanic Origin of 3-to 11-Year-Olds by Age Group, 2004 (in thousands)
        • Table Growth of the Population of Kids under the Age of 14, Hispanics vs. Other Population Groups, 2005 vs. 2010 (in thousands)
    • Life at Home and at School
      • Family Environment
        • Table Key Characteristics of Family Environment of 3-to 11-Year-Olds 2004 (in thousands)
      • Family Environment of Kids Varies by Race, Education, and Income
        • Table Living Arrangements of 3-to 11-Year-Olds by Race and Hispanic Origin, 2004 (in thousands)
        • Table Percent of Children under 18 Living with Both Parents by Education and Income of Householder, 2004
      • School Environment
        • Table Grade of Enrollment of 3-to 11-Year-Olds by Single Year of Age, October 2004 (% of Total Population of Each Age Group)
        • Table Degree of Motivation at School, 6-to 11-Year-Olds by Gender and Age Group
        • Table Profile of 6-to 11-Year-Olds Who Like School by Demographic Characteristic
      • Kids and Their Friends
        • Table The Importance of Friends, 6-to 11-Year-Olds by Gender and Age Group
        • Table Socializing on the Internet by 6-to 11-Year-Olds by Gender and Age Group
  • Highlights of Consumer Behavior
    • Kids and Money: Spenders vs. Savers
      • Sources of Income
        • Table Household Income of 6-to 11-Year-Olds by Age Group
        • Table Income Sources of 6-to 11-Year-Olds by Gender and Age Group
        • Table Source of Money of 6-to 11-Year-Olds by Demographic Characteristic
        • Table Amount of Allowances/Chores Earnings of 6-to 11-Year-Olds by Gender and Age Group
      • Attitudes toward Money
        • Table Attitudes toward Money of 6-to 11-Year-Olds by Gender and Age Group
        • Table Savers vs. Spenders: Percent of 6-to 11-Year-Olds Who Like to Save and Who Spend without Thinking by Demographic Characteristic
    • When Kids Rule: Consumer Autonomy among Kids
      • When Kids Get to Buy What They Want
        • Table Percent of 6-to 11-Year-Olds Who Get to Choose Desired Product or Activity Most or Some of the Time by Product or Activity
        • Table Percent of 6-to 11-Year-Olds Who Get to Choose Various Products and Services Some or Most of the Time by Age and Gender
        • Table Percent of 6-to 11-Year-Olds Buying Own Things by Age Group and Gender
        • Table Percent of 6-to 11-Year-Olds Who Get to Choose Brand of Jeans and Sneakers/Athletic Shoes Most/Some of the Time by Demographic Characteristic
        • Table Percent of 6-to 11-Year-Olds Who Get to Choose Entertainment Most/Some of the Time by Demographic Characteristic
        • Table Consumer Autonomy of 6-to 11-Year-Olds: Percent Who Get to Choose Dolls and Wanted Toys Most/Some of the Time by Demographic Characteristic
        • Table Percent of 6-to 11-Year-Olds Who Get to Choose Restaurants Most/Some of the Time by Demographic Characteristic
        • Table Attitudes of Parents toward Indulging Children by Age of Children and Demographic Characteristic
      • When Parents and Kids Work Together to Decide What to Buy
        • Table Percent of Parents Making Purchasing Decisions Jointly with Children by Category of Decision and Demographic Characteristic
        • Table Frequency of Grocery Shopping by 6-to 11-Year-Olds by Gender and Age Group
        • Table Impact of 6-to 11-Year-Olds on Family Vacations by Gender and Age Group
        • Table Percent of Parents Who Enjoy Shopping with Their Children by Demographic Characteristic
        • Table Percent of Parents Who Say Their Children Have a Significant Impact on the Brands They Choose by Demographic Characteristic
    • Key Consumer Insights
      • Tracking the Trendsetters in the Kids Market
        • Table Attitudes toward Fashion, 6-to 11-Year-Olds by Gender and Age Group
        • Table Profile of Trendsetting Kids: Percent of 6-to 11-Year-Olds Who Like to Keep Up with the Latest Fashions and Are First to Try New Things, by Demographic Characteristic
        • Table Attitudes of 6-to 11-Year-Olds toward Wearing Cool Clothes by Gender and Age Group
        • Table Brands of Jeans Owned by 6-to 11-Year-Olds by Age Group
        • Table Brands of Sneakers/Athletic Shoes Owned by 6-to 11-Year-Olds by Age Group
      • Kids, Parents, and Advertising
        • Table Attitudes toward Advertising of 6-to 11-Year-Olds by Gender and Age Group
        • Table Profile of 6-to 11-Year-Olds with Above-Average Ad Receptivity by Demographic Characteristic
        • Table Attitudes of Parents toward Advertising to Children by Demographic Characteristic
      • Preschoolers: Marketing and Media Usage Trends
        • Table Attitudes of Parents toward Advertising to Children by Age and Gender of Children
        • Table Attitudes of Parents toward Indulging Children by Age of Children by Demographic Characteristic
        • Table Activities Performed on Computer and the Internet by 3-to 5-Year-Olds
      • When Do "Kids" Become "Tweens"?
        • Table Percent of 6-to 11-Year-Olds Spending Free Time with Family by Single Year of Age and Gender
        • Table 6-13 6-to 11-Year-Olds' Attitudes toward Fashion by Single Year of Age
        • Table Percent of 6-to 11-Year-Olds Choosing Brand of Jeans and Sneakers Most or Some of the Time by Single Year of Age
        • Table 6- to 11-Year-Olds’ Ownership of Home Electronics in Room
  • Media and Entertainment Choices
    • Media Usage
      • Overview
        • Table Profile of 6-to 11-Year-Olds with Above-Average Media Involvement by Demographic Characteristic
      • Use of Print Media by Kids
        • Table Attitudes toward Print Media of 6-to 11-Year-Olds by Gender and Age Group
        • Table Readership of Sunday Newspapers by 6-to 11-Year-Olds by Gender and Age Group
        • Table Magazines Popular with 6-to 8-Year-Olds by Gender
        • Table Magazines Popular with 9-to 11-Year-Olds by Gender
      • Television and Radio
        • Table Attitudes toward Television of 6-to 11-Year-Olds by Gender and Age Group
        • Table Attitudes toward Television Programming of 6-to 11-Year-Olds by Gender and Age Group
        • Table Time Spent Watching Television, 6-to 11-Year-Olds by Age Group and Gender
        • Table Cable TV Services Watched by 6-to 8-Year-Olds by Gender
        • Table Cable TV Services Watched by 9-to 11-Year-Olds by Gender
        • Table Most Popular Cable TV Services Watched by 6-to 11-Year-Old Boys and Girls by Age Group
        • Table Broadcast Network Net Audience, 6-to 8-Year-Old Boys and Girls
        • Table Broadcast Network Net Audience, 9-to 11-Year-Old Boys and Girls
        • Table TV Show Types Frequently Viewed by 6-to 8-Year-Old Boys and Girls
        • Table TV Show Types Frequently Viewed by 9-to 11-Year-Old Boys and Girls
        • Table Time Spent Listening to the Radio, 6-to 11-Year-Olds by Age Group and Gender
        • Table Radio Formats Most Listened to by 6-to 8-Year-Old Boys and Girls
        • Table Radio Formats Most Listened to by 9-to 11-Year-Old Boys and Girls
      • Kids and New Media
        • Table Use of Computers by 6-to 11-Year-Olds by Gender and Age Group
        • Table Profile of 6-to 11-Year-Olds Who Love Using the Computer by Demographic Characteristic
        • Table Use of the Internet by 6-to 11-Year-Olds by Gender and Age Group
        • Table Profile of 6-to 11-Year-Old Internet Users by Demographic Characteristic
        • Table Online Activities of 6-to 11-Year-Olds by Gender
        • Table Web Sites Visited in Last Week by 6-to 8-Year-Olds by Gender
        • Table Web Sites Visited in Last 30 Days by 9-to 11-Year-Olds by Gender
    • Leisure and Entertainment Choices of Kids
      • Going to the Movies
        • Table Frequency of Movie Attendance in Last 3 Months by 6-to 11-Year-Olds by Gender and Age Group
        • Table Profile of 6-to 11-Year-Old Moviegoers by Demographic Characteristic
        • Table Reasons Why 6-to 11-Year-Olds Saw Last Movie, by Gender and Age Group
      • Going Out to Eat
        • Table Visits to Fast Food and Family Restaurants in Last 30 Days by 6-to 11-Year-Olds by Gender and Age Group
        • Table Percent of 6-to 11-Year-Olds Visiting Favorite Fast Food Restaurant by Gender and Age Group
        • Table Reasons Why 6-to 11-Year-Olds Pick Favorite Fast Food Restaurant by Gender and Age Group
      • Entertainment at Home
        • Table Ownership of Home Electronics by 6-to 11-Year-Olds by Gender and Age Group
        • Table Profile of 6-to 11-Year-Olds with TV, DVD Player, or VHS in Room
        • Table Use of VCRs by 6-to 11-Year-Olds by Gender and Age Group
        • Table Percent of 6-to 11-Year-Olds Renting or Buying Videotapes or DVDs in Last 12 Months by Age Group and Gender
        • Table Types of DVDs and Videotapes Bought or Rented by 6-to 11-Year-Olds in Last 12 Months by Age Group and Gender
        • Table Types of DVDs and Videotapes Bought or Rented by 6-to 11-Year-Olds in Last 12 Months by Age Group and Gender
      • Listening to Music
        • Table Attitudes toward Music of 6-to 11-Year-Olds by Gender and Age Group
        • Table Ownership of Audio Products by 6-to 11-Year-Olds by Gender and Age Group
        • Table Percent of 6-to 11-Year-Olds with MP3 Player, Walkabout Stereo with Headphones, and CD Player by Demographic Characteristic
      • Playing Video Games
        • Table Percent of 6-to 11-year-Olds Playing Video Games in Last Week, by Gender and Age Group
        • Table Profile of 6-to 11-Year-Olds Who Play Video Games Frequently by Demographic Characteristic
        • Table Types of Video Games (Attached to TV) Played by 6-to 11-Year-Olds by Age Group and Gender
      • Reading Books
        • Table Profile of 6-to 11-Year-Old Readers of Books by Demographic Characteristic
        • Table Types of Books Read by 6-to 11-Year-Olds by Gender and Age Group
      • Toys and Games
        • Table Most Popular Toys and Games Owned by 6-to 11-Year-Old Boys by Age Group
        • Table Most Popular Toys and Games Owned by 6-to 11-Year-Old Girls by Age Group
        • Table Dolls Owned by 6-to 11-Year-Old Girls by Age Group
      • Sports and Other Leisure Activities
        • Table Sports Popular with to 6-to 8-Year-Old Boys and Girls
        • Table Sports Popular with to 9-to 11-Year-Old Boys and Girls
        • Table Hobbies and Leisure-time Activities Popular with 6-to 8-Year-Old Boys and Girls
        • Table Hobbies and Leisure-time Activities Popular with 9-to 11-Year-Old Boys and Girls
        • Table Ownership of Cameras by 6-to 11-Year-Olds by Gender and Age Group
  • Market Trends
    • Size and Growth of the Kids Market
      • Buying Power of Kids
        • Table Buying Power of 3-to 11-Year-Olds by Age Group, 2005
      • Family Expenditures on Kids
        • Table Annual Family Expenditures on Food, Clothing, Personal-Care Items, Entertainment, and Reading Materials for 3-to 11-Year-Olds, by Percent of Total for Each Age Group, 2004 (in millions)
        • Table Aggregate Annual Family Expenditures on Food, Clothing, Personal-Care Items, Entertainment, and Reading Materials for 3-to 11-Year-Olds, by Age Group, 2004
        • Table Aggregate Annual Family Expenditures on Food for 3-to 11-Year-Olds by Age Group, 2004
        • Table Aggregate Annual Family Expenditures on Clothing for 3-to 11-Year-Olds by Age Group, 2004
        • Table Aggregate Annual Family Expenditures on Personal-Care Items, Entertainment, and Reading Materials for 3-to 11-Year-Olds by Single Year of Age, 2004
      • Projected Growth of the Kids Market
        • Table Projected Growth in Family Expenditures on 3-to 11-Year-Olds for Selected Consumer Products, 2005-2010
        • Table Projected Growth in Family Expenditures on 3-to 5-Year-Olds for Selected Consumer Products, 2005-2010
        • Table Projected Growth in Family Expenditures on 6-to 8-Year-Olds for Selected Consumer Products, 2004-2009
        • Table Projected Growth in Family Expenditures on 9-to 11-Year-Olds for Selected Consumer Products, 2005-2010
        • Table Projected Growth in Buying Power of 3-to 11-Year-Olds, 2005-2010
        • Table Projected Growth in Buying Power of 3-to 5-Year-Olds, 2005-2010
        • Table Projected Growth in Buying Power of 6-to 8-Year-Olds, 2005-2010
        • Table Projected Growth in Buying Power of 9-to 11-Year-Olds, 2005-2010
    • Trends and Opportunities
      • Market Trends
        • Table Percent of 3-to 14-Year-Olds Using the Internet Who Get Product Information or Purchase Products Online by Age Group
      • Marketing Opportunities
        • Table Overview of Selected Kids Market Segments
  • Addresses of Selected Kids Market Resources

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