Green age waste ban | The Insights Family explores sustainability in the kids’ market

With greater purchasing power comes greater social responsibility… or words to that effect. Undeniable though, is the increasing demand and interest in sustainability and eco-consciousness among target audiences. Here, The Insights Family’s founder, Nick Richardson explores the issue

Figures from the latest Kids Insights data shows that over half of UK kids aged three to 12 have “a lot” of influence over the toy purchases their parents make. In addition to this, UK kids spend a collective £709m of their own money on toys and games in 2020. 

However, children’s purchasing power has changed with growing interest in the environment.

Sustainability is becoming a way of life for many consumers as more people are choosing to buy greener, healthier, ethically sourced, and more environmentally sustainable products. Eco-friendly products accelerated their infiltration into toys in recent years and companies – the likes of Hasbro, LEGO, Mattel, MGA, Playmobil and Clementoni included – also understand that a clear and transparent environmental strategy can give them a competitive advantage while staying relevant. 

This trend will increasingly affect families’ purchasing habits and toy brands are strongly recommended to emphasise their environment friendly credentials when planning their marketing campaigns.

The increasing penetration of smartphones and tablets among children is stimulating social activism while also driving eco-friendly product purchases. So-called ‘Greta effect’, named after Greta Thunberg following her “how dare you” speech at the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit, raised the awareness further.

There is also a large eco-influence coming from parents. According to our Toys & Games Global Report 2020, over a third of UK pre-school parents think that it is important for their children to take care of the environment – a year-on-year increase of 56 per cent. Over a third of parents hope to teach their child to take care of the environment before they have even reached their fifth birthday. 

Brands have already started to work on producing eco-friendly toys, or at least use more recyclable packaging. According to our Kids & Family Industry Report 2021, 69 per cent of toy companies believe they can make a difference in the sustainability sector.

As a good example, LEGO is another toy manufacturer which has made substantial progress and commitments to change by 2030. The company introduced reusable plastics for bricks and is said to be considering the idea of a LEGO subscription service. In an effort to improve the brand’s sustainability, a rental service could reduce the fossil fuels required to make LEGO, all while keeping eco-conscious parents happy. LEGO is also making a switch towards paper bags instead of single-use plastics. 

Meanwhile, Mattel introduced its own MEGA Biobloks at 2020 Nuremberg Toy Fair with the aim of reaching its 100 per cent recycled materials goal by 2030. Likewise, Clementoni revealed its Baby range made from 100 per cent recycled materials in January 2020 as part of its own sustainability push.

The same with Amazon, the favourite online shop of two million kids aged three to nine in the UK, has revealed plans to roll out 500 electric delivery vans in the UK as part of their Climate Pledge. From manufacturing to distribution, there are opportunities for corporations to make improvements to their sustainability practices to engage sustainable consumers.

What does this mean to you?

Brands need sustainability to be incorporated into long-term business strategies, with public transparency and accountability surrounding these targets, to show their loyalty and awareness. 

We believe the brands that will succeed at appealing to the sustainable consumer will be the ones who make it straight-forward and rewarding for customers to change the way they consume, purchase, or behave.

Children’s influence on their parents and brands continues to grow every day. Therefore, understanding what attitudes kids hold in real-time and how this affects their purchasing decisions is a critical advantage for brands. 

With the purpose to provide children, parents, and families with a voice to shape their worlds, The Insights Family is highlighting why brands need to pay attention to trends like this and carefully reflect on consumers opinion. 

The Insights Family® has released its Kids & Family Industry Report 2021 where we have shown how companies are also responding to societal needs, with 64 per cent reporting their business decisions will be affected by a drive towards sustainability.

To read the Kids & Family Industry Report 2021 and learn more about the attitudes, behaviour, and consumption patterns of kids, parents, and families, and to get freemium access to The Insights Family® real-time data portal, please visit:   

The Insights Family (formerly The Insights People), is a global leader in kids, parents, and family market intelligence, providing real-time data on their attitudes, behaviour, and consumption patterns. Every year the company surveys more than 362,100 kids and more than 176,800 parents.