Facts & findings
– Overall, nearly a third (31%) of the brand names – of both healthy and unhealthy products – were given by the children after exposure to a brand logo, over half (53%) also named the right product type, and nearly two-thirds (63%) matched the right product images to the brands.
– Children’s brand knowledge increased with age. Especially between 3 and 4 years of age children were more able to give the right brand name and product type, and match the brand logo with the correct product type.
– Children’s brand knowledge of advertised unhealthy foods and drinks was much greater than their knowledge of healthy foods. For example, 68% of the children named the correct product name after being exposed to a brand logo of an unhealthy product, whereas 35% of the children named the correct product name after exposure to a brand logo of a healthy product (see Figure 1).
– A possible explanation for this finding is that advertising for unhealthy products is more engaging (e.g., animations, promotional characters) than it is for healthy products, and therefore children are more likely to recall those unhealthy brands.
– When comparing the role of the various factors (age, TV viewing, education of the mother, child and parents’ eating habits), only age and parental eating habits related to children’s unhealthy brand knowledge.
Critical note: This study does not allow for any conclusions about cause (e.g., age, parental eating habits) and effect (unhealthy brand knowledge). The results only show that children’s age, and the eating habits of parents is associated with higher brand knowledge of unhealthy foods and drinks, and does not allow conclusions about what causes what.