Snack Brands Have Equity with US Youth

December 10, 2010

Snack foods dominate the brands with the most equity among US youth age 8-24, according to data from Harris Interactive.

M&Ms Top Brand among US Youth

Chocolate candy M&Ms rank first in brand equity among US youth age 8-24, according to the Youth EquiTrend study from Harris Interactive. Google ranks second, and is the only online organization youth rank among the top ten brands. Snack food brands Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Oreos rank third and fourth, respectively. Other snack food brands in the top 10 include Hershey’s Milk Chocolate (8) and Doritos (9), as well as fast food provider Subway (7).

Despite the reputation of today’s youth as being tech-savvy and “constantly connected,” the only tech brands in the top 10 besides Google were Apple’s iPod (5) and animated special effects production company Pixar (10).

Tweens Wild for Nintendo, Snacks

Nintendo Wii ranks highest in brand equity among the youngest set, ages 8-12 years old, followed by Doritos and Oreo’s, ranked second and third, respectively. M&Ms follows next, ranking fourth in brand equity among this age group. Finally, rounding out the top five is the Disney Channel.

Though ranked fifth among this age group, overall, the Disney Channel ranks highest among the media and television brands for the 8-12 year old age group. The Nintendo DS system also appears on the list at number seven, making Nintendo the only company to appear twice with this age group.

Teens Like Snacks and Tech

While ranking third in brand equity among all age groups, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups take the top spot for highest brand equity among 13-17 year olds. This group is more tech-oriented than tweens or overall youth, however. Apple’s iPod is ranked second highest in brand equity among this age group, followed by Google, ranked third.

M&Ms and Oreos continue to make appearances in the top five brands, ranking fourth and fifth, respectively, among this audience. Other snack brands include Hershey’s Milk Chocolate and soft drink brand Spite, while tech brand Microsoft comes in 10th.

College Age Youth Go Online

College age youth (18-24) show more fondness for online brands than their younger counterparts. Google and Facebook rank first and second, respectively, while online music provider iTunes comes in eighth.

iPod comes in third and Apple seventh, showing a growing interest in technology as youth enter early adulthood. However, snack and fast food brands such as Gatorade, Subway, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Oreos show the continued importance of quick, tasty food to young adults.

Teens Mistrust Search Engines, SocNets

US teens are highly doubtful of efforts by search engines and social networks and games to safeguard their privacy, according to a recent survey from nonprofit social advocacy group Common Sense Media and Zogby International.

For example, a vast majority of US teens age 15-18 (88%) say that they believe that some search engines collect and use their browsing habits to sell advertising tied to their interest, while just 3% say they do not. And most teens surveyed (79%) say they believe that some social networking sites collect and use their personal information to sell advertising tied to their interests, but one in seven (14%) say they are not sure. Eight percent of teens say they do not believe that social networking sites collect and use information to sell advertising.

About the Data: The 2010 Youth EquiTrend study was conducted online in August 2010, among 5,077 US 8-24 year olds, including: 740 interviews among 8-9 year olds; 860 interviews among 10-12 year olds; 879 interviews among 13-15 year olds; 644 interviews among 16-17 year olds; 1,086 interviews among 18-21 year olds; and 868 interviews among 22-24 year olds.

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