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    Cosmetics for Kids: The Young Market of the Future

    8/27/14 | 8:38 AM time

    Cosmetic companies like Shiseido discover the potential of pocket money

    Shiseido has opened the first in-store beauty salon for children in Japan, with more to follow. The salon will offer a makeup camp as well as skin and nail care classes for kids held by cosmetics professionals, market researcher Canadean reported. The cosmetics company uses this concept to target a group of consumers with a lot of purchasing power: due to their confidence and the amount of pocket money at their disposal, even primary school kids become lucrative consumers.

    In Japan, one child in six uses cosmetics. On a global scale, children aged 9 and younger account for 9.5% of beauty and skincare purchases, while the age group of 10 to 15 accounts for 7.1%. In 2013, consumers between 9 and 15 years of age made purchases worth $13.8 billion in total. By 2018, this figure is expected to rise to $18.1 billion. This data by Canadean, an international market research company, shows that children as a consumer group are in fact a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the beauty and cosmetics market.

    Making pocket money your own: children make their own consumer choices

    In most families, children and adolescents are allowed to decide for themselves how to spend their pocket money and have a big influence on the family's consumption. This is the result of the Kids Consumer Analyse 2014 conducted by the media research department of Egmont Ehapa, a German publisher. In Germany, 84% of all children are free to spend their pocket money – EUR27.50 per month on average – as they like, the researchers found out. Even among preschoolers, 53% are given their own pocket money. According to the study, gifts of money made by relatives on birthdays or holidays further increase the amount of money children have at their disposal.

    Kids are a target group which is susceptible to advertising and has high brand awareness. They know what they want, and often they get it, too. According to Egmont Ehapa, brand awareness is growing and parents are increasingly willing to fulfill their offspring's wishes. Internet access is another factor, as children are exposed not only to traditional TV commercials, but also to online advertising. 75% have Internet access at home and more than half of those aged 10 or older are online on an almost daily basis, the analysers reported. 25% of the children already own a smartphone, roughly twice as many as in the previous year.

    Product marketing for kids: responsibility is needed

    Children and adolescents are very susceptible to advertising. For this reason, parents and consumer advocates alike often criticize product marketing targeting young people as irresponsible. The fashion and beauty industry in particular has been criticized for dictating a certain ideal of beauty, putting children under pressure to make themselves and their bodies perfect.

    According to ÖKO-TEST, a German consumer magazine, children younger than 6 are not able to distinguish between advertising and real content in TV shows. It is only at the age of 8 to 10 years that they begin to question sales messages and take a critical attitude towards advertising claims. Scientific studies led by the consumer magazine have proven that consumers take the brand awareness of childhood with them into their adult lives.

    Sources: Canadean, Egmont Ehapa Verlag, Egmont MediaSolutions, Pinkstinks Germany e.V., ÖKO-TEST

    Photo: fotolia

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