Some days it seems that retailers think that my daughter is an alien. While I’ll admit my toddler behaves like she’s from another planet at times, I’m fairly sure she’s a human, albeit a small one.
But in the supermarket it seems many product marketers are keen to convince me she is something quite, quite different to us adults, and as a result, requires her own special version of everything.
If I took this advice every time I went shopping my shopping basket would look something like this. Grown-ups’ yoghurt, kids’ yoghurt, grown-ups’ milk, kids’ milk, grown-ups’ pasta, kids’ pasta, grown-ups’ moisturiser, kids’ moisturiser, grown-ups’ tuna, kids’ tuna…you get the idea.
Maybe I’ve forgotten but I’m pretty sure my mum wasn’t doling out the special kids’ yoghurt to me and my brothers when I was little while she and Dad cracked open the grown-ups’ version – it was pretty much a case of one family, one food. Ditto with most of the other products in the house.
But in these days of market segmentation, parents are overloaded with choices when it comes to shopping for the family. That’s not to say that all special kids’ products are bad – some are nice to haves and some are very necessary. Trouble is it’s very hard to tell which is which.
As a frazzled new parent, I was tempted to buy just about anything that had the word babies or kids on it assuming that if the product said it was specifically for little people it must be better. I remember one baby wash product even promised to help babies sleep better, it’s probably lucky that it didn’t really work otherwise I would have been tempted to take out a second mortgage to buy a truckload of the stuff to last me the next few years.
When I got the opportunity to write about kids and babies products it was great to get the experts opinions on what’s really necessary and what’s just marketing hype. I was particularly surprised to discover some kids’ foods were actually less healthy than the adult version. While others offered no real benefit, just a hefty price tag.
To see which products are worth buying and which are worth leaving on the shelf check out our guide
and do let me know which products you can and can’t live without when it comes to your kids.