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Kids Health

This report analyses the products launched from January 2009 to June 2010; these products directly target children aged between 5 and 12 years. Some children’s dietary intake might contain a less than recommended amount of iron, calcium, vitamins A and D, and vitamin C. Experts suggest regular meals and healthy snacks that include carbohydrate-rich foods, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, legumes and nuts. Such a diet should help proper growth and development, without supplying excessive energy.
 The survey comprises an analysis of more than 3000 consumer products within the categories. The analysis covers nutrient usage of sugars, sweeteners, fibres, vitamins, minerals, fruits and herbs, proteins, and probiotics. The dairy products analysis sub-categorises cheeses, drinks, yoghurt, and fresh cheese desserts, in order to understand caloric density, vitamin and mineral fortification.
 Less than 5% represent kid’s products in most food and beverage categories, where supplements and breakfast cereals are the only categories going beyond that share. The general share of kid’s products should by population represent approximately 20%, if calculated by population size.
 In total, these products have a share of max 10%, depending on categories, where the most active categories are vitamins and supplements, as well as bakery and dairy. Children in that age group represent approx. 20% of the global population, and have very defined nutritional needs, due to the growth phase they are in. Many of the dietary habits are established during these years, and it’s also a fact that many nutritional issues have impact on the future health condition, and thereby risks of chronic health issues.
 Health Issues
 Childhood obesity leads to a risk of future lifestyle diseases, such as Diabetes Type II. Obesity in children has been increasing from a prevalence of approximately 10%, to 30% in most Western countries. This increase has been ongoing for at least three decades, and it will take some time to reverse the situation.
 Muscles and organs, and especially the immune system, is highly dependent on protein surplus for growth. Relationship between childhood lean and adipose tissue is an important factor in future risks of obesity. Also, building a healthy skeleton is essential during childhood, and minerals in diet play an important role in this process, whereas race, gender and exercise are important contributing factors as well.
 Cognitive development and performance depends on the composition of fatty acids in diet. Studies conducted in recent years on Omega 3 to 6 ratios deal with cognitive and motoric skill maturation, and disease risk reduction. The composition of carbohydrates in daily meals also affects metabolism and intellectual learning performance in children.
 Gut health in children is two ways: 1) improving nutrient uptake, and 2) a healthy gut micro flora for improved nutrient utilization of gut micro biota metabolites. Constipation – which is occurring often during childhood – can be helped as well, as gut and general immunity can be strengthened via diet. Studies on diets rich in grains and fibres reveal that children’s health and wellbeing is very much affected when the child’s Western Diet is balanced with pre- and probiotics, so that a more healthy gut micro flora is boosted.
 Regional Markets
 The European food industry – and to some extent beverage industry – is very busy working on product innovation, customer segmentation, and product diversifications. In the meantime, the Asia Pacific market is actually more active than the North American market.
 Looking further into regional differences, when it comes to bakery and snack products, fruits or fruit based products are popular in the markets of Australia and New Zealand. In this region, school nutrition guidelines are very often followed.
 In the fast growing economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China, bakery products are also popular. Russia, and to some extent Brazil, are launching special dairy products for children’s need and wishes at a fast rate.
 When looking at the world’s six highest populated countries (China, India, South Korea, Mexico, Brazil, and Russia) relatively more product launches are seen than in the financial dominating countries of the G20 (comprised of the largest 19 economies and EU).
 Special snacks and bakery formulated for school children are dominating new products in Australia and New Zealand. In the so-called high growth countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) there is a high activity in launching particular products designed for school children.
 Bakery and dairy products are leading the children food categories in terms of new product offers, but also special beverages for children are strongly represented. In Brazil, special non- alcoholic beverages for children are highly popular.
 The association of dairy and kids nutrition is high in Europe, as milk products are known to provide both calcium and protein necessary for growth. Other beverages typically make an attempt to have children choose more fruit based beverages instead of sodas.
 The Chinese market for children foods is dominated by special bakery, dairy and snacks. The dairy products are typically yoghurt drinks and flavoured milks.
 Less than 4% of all products launched for children contain less than 45 kcal per 100g / mL from fat.
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