in marketing, advertising, or industry trade journals; commissioned papers examining the current and future food and beverage marketing trends affecting children and youth; government, company, and trade organization websites; annual reports of companies;1 foundation or nonprofit organization reports and briefs; popular magazines and books relevant to advertising and marketing; and news releases. Sources also included materials from presentations, testimony, and documents provided during and following the January 2005 public workshop held to consider industry perspectives and activities. To assess the degree to which new food and beverage products have been targeted to children and youth across various product categories, the committee also conducted an analysis of trends in the proliferation of children’s products using ProductScan®, a large commercial database of products (Marketing Intelligence Service, 2005) that has tracked new product introductions in the U.S. marketplace since 1980 (Williams, 2005b).

Because marketing research could enhance understanding on the relationships of marketing strategies to children’s food and beverage consumption patterns and diets and diet-related health outcomes, as well as the design of strategies to improve the healthfulness of messages, several market research firms were contacted for information. Some—The Geppetto Group, The Strottman Group, KidShop/KidzEyes, and Yankelovich Partners—provided child- and youth-specific data for the committee’s consideration and use. Others were unable to provide information, either because of time constraints, economic considerations, or on the basis that the data were proprietary and not intended for public use. A summary of the marketing research information considered by the committee is included in Appendix E, Table E-1.


Marketing professionals use a variety of strategies to influence consumer preferences, stimulate consumer demand, promote frequency of purchases, build brand awareness and brand loyalty, encourage potential or existing customers to try new products, and increase sales. From a marketing perspective, businesses engage in a variety of activities that are designed to meet customers’ needs and to create the context where consumers perceive value in exchange for their money. Marketing is defined by the American Marketing Association (AMA) as “an organizational function and a set


Many companies and marketing firms discussed in this chapter are incorporated (Inc.). For ease of reading, the Inc. has been removed after a company name in the text, tables, and reference citations. The discussion of trade names or commercial products in this report is solely for the purpose of providing specific information or illustrative examples and does not imply endorsement by the Institute of Medicine.

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