"To paraphrase a children's icon from another era, 'it can be easy being green' if you're marketing children's products today," says Tatjana Meerman, publisher, Packaged Facts. "And what's interesting about the green trend among kids is that the kids themselves are fueling it. Environmental awareness, even at the youngest ages, is acute."
Consumers spent $123 billion in 2007 on products for 36 million 3- to-11-year-olds, according to the ninth edition of Packaged Facts' "The Kids and Tweens Market in the U.S." That $123 billion breaks down to $65 billion on food, $16 billion on clothing, and $42 billion on personal care, entertainment and reading materials. Total spending by parents on kids will rise to $138 billion in 2012, the report projects.
Kids and tweens themselves raked in $19 billion in personal income last year, with that number expected to rise to $21 billion by 2012.
Quoting data from the Simmons Kids National Consumer Survey, the study says a significant majority of kids express concern for environmental issues, and that nearly three-quarters of them believe in buying recycled paper products.
Furthermore, more than half of 6- to-8-year-olds encourage their parents to buy green products--with Hispanic children leading other demographics by a wide margin. The Hispanic kids' environmentalism, in turn, may be the reason why the Pacific region--with its large Hispanic population--leads all other areas in numbers of kids pushing their parent to go green.
Also, Hispanic families were found more likely than other American families to seek out organic and fresh foods when they shop. These attitudes toward food may spill over into other environmental issues, according to Packaged Facts.
The sources of kids personal income, the report says, include allowances, gifts from parents and other family members, earnings from chores performed around the house and, in the case of some older kids, earnings from informal jobs such as babysitting and lawn care. As kids get older, their income-earning opportunities increase and, as a result, there is a significant difference between the incomes of younger and older kids.
Other topics covered by the study include how kids spend their leisure time, relationships with family and friends, how they use computers and the Internet, their entertainment choices, their media usage habits, and where they shop.