Every serious dairy manufacturer has products developed specifically for children. Kids are the hardest target audience, usually segmented by age, but the difference between segments is not definitive, as kids develop differently at their own pace. Therefore, recently, the segmentation has moved away from age and towards the types of content consumed.
But it gets even harder. One of the most difficult parts of working with brands for kids is the fact that buyers are not consumers. Mothers are the ones buying the products for their children. And mothers, just like kids, also change with child’s age, or with an addition of a second child, although the latter isn’t so applicable to China.
Due to the Chinese policy that allows only one child per family (abolished in 2016), children there experience excess care from adults. Each child has 6 carers: their mother, father, two grandmothers, and two grandfathers! Their carers dream that their only child will grow up to be the smartest, the strongest, the richest, and just the best child in the world. But kids themselves don’t necessarily want to be healthy, strong, and successful, but they simply want to be kids, playing with toys and enjoying their childhood.
At the start of the project, we were presented with a question: should we develop a new brand from scratch for the Chinese market, or should we adopt one of the existing European brands of Food Union. After carefully examining and analyzing the opportunities and limitations, a decision was made towards using a Latvian dairy brand Lakto.
In Europe, Lakto doesn’t have products for kids and has no communication aimed at children either, but it does have an excellent dynamic platform and an amazing reputation. This was the main reason for choosing Lakto.
In China, the brand offers a broad variety of dairy products for children. At the center of it are fresh products with short shelf life and a completely new category of products for China — fresh cheese.
The brand concept is organized around the idea of a balanced child development, which unites all parts of the marketing mix: product solutions, packaging design, communication channels, entertaining and educational content for the children’s intellectual and emotional development, as well as specific content for interacting with their mothers.
Food Union & Riki Group
During the development of the project, a new partnership emerged between Food Union and Riki Group, creators and owners of the famous Russian cartoon Kikoriki. The results of this partnership took shape of a new company FUN Union, as well as the creation of a unified platform for developing kids’ content and for promoting the dairy brand for children.
Brand Lakto appeared both in offline and online stores in July of 2018 and practically immediately took the first place in sales in Tmall — the biggest online retailer in China.