Insight of the Week: Insight of the Week: Keeping the heavy confectionery buyers sweet

With Halloween taking place, the shops have recently been filled with sweets of all descriptions on deals, to tempt shoppers to be prepared for when the little ghosts, skeletons and ghouls of the neighbourhood come trick-or-treating. Some of us, however, are partial to sugary treats all year round.

Latest insights from Kantar Media’s TGI consumer data in the Republic of Ireland reveals that 63% of adults claim to have bought sweets (excluding chocolate) in the past 12 months (2.3 million people), with almost a third of them (32%) doing so twice a week or more.

In looking for a straightforward answer as to why this 32% of ‘heavy buyers’ of sweets are such relatively prolific purchasers, this can be best summarised as: children. The TGI consumer data reveals that ‘Primary School Parents’ (live with son or daughter and youngest child aged 5-9) are 49% more likely to be heavy buyers than the average sweets purchaser, whilst ‘Playschool Parents’ (live with son or daughter and youngest child aged 0-4) are 37% more likely.

By contrast, the impetus for buying sweets drops dramatically as children get a little older. ‘Secondary School Parents’ (live with son or daughter and youngest child aged 10-15) are actually slightly less likely than the average sweets purchaser to be heavy buyers.

There is a strong vegetarian and vegan bias to these heavy sweets buyers. They are 40% more likely than the average sweets purchaser to assert that they are vegetarian and 26% more likely to say they prefer to eat vegan food. This is also a group that has little time for those obsessed with healthy eating – they are 34% more likely to believe that health foods are only bought by fanatics. This is also a group that is 25% more likely than the average parent of children aged up to 15 to agree ‘It’s difficult to say no to my kids’ (53% of heavy sweets buyers agree with this) – demonstrating the impact of pester power.

When it comes to which media best engages with heavy sweet buyers, the TGI consumer data reveals that they are 62% more likely than the average sweets purchaser to be amongst the heaviest fifth of consumers of gaming and 46% more likely to be amongst the heaviest fifth of consumers of magazines.

In terms of the online gaming networks that are particularly popular for this group, the leaders are the PlayStation Network (used by 15%) and the XBOX Live network (used by 14%). When it comes to magazines, they are 54% more likely than the average sweets purchaser to be ‘very interested’ in baby and childcare topics, 54% more likely to be very interested in horoscopes/astrology and 51% more likely to be very interested in media/marketing/advertising articles.



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