A recent study by Canadian researchers suggests that the way to get kids to buy your products—or consume your meals—is to offer an incentive.
Using McDonald's Happy Meals as the test, researchers wanted to see if kids—age six to 12—would choose the healthier option or the standard option when toys were included with only the healthier menu combinations.
It turns out the children were three times more likely to opt for a healthier Happy Meal containing apple slices with caramel sauce and water instead of fries and pop when a toy came only with the more nutritional boxed meals.
Read: Krazy Train, about a company that successfully markets to kids and their moms.
The study was conducted over a six-week period in August 2011 and involved more than 330 children attending YMCA summer day camps in Ontario's Waterloo region. For their lunch on the study day, each child was asked to pick a Happy Meal from an order form that showed photos of each meal combination and the toy, if included.
While the study was intended to show that restricting promotional premiums on unhealthy foods is a way to get kids to make better choices, retailers and restaurateurs can use this knowledge to inform the marketing for their products.
It turns out the tried-and-true method of putting a surprise inside cereal boxes, which started in the 1950s, still holds water.
Read the full article at Macleans.ca.