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Kids and Parents Alike Need More Time to ‘Be Kids’

Dubai, UAE. (Mar. 21, 2012) – The results of a new regional report released today by the OREO brand and YouGov MENA indicate that across the UAE and rest of the GCC, the spirit of childhood – that is, the chance for children and adults alike to enjoy simple, carefree moments – may be at risk. The report reveals that the vast majority of parents surveyed believe today’s kids are growing up quicker than previous generations. In fact, seven out of 10 parents regionally say their children should have more time to ‘just be kids.’ The research findings confirm results reached earlier in other parts of the world based on similar research conducted by Ipsos Media.

The idea that the spirit of childhood is on the decline is true not only for kids, but also adults. Parents everywhere yearn for the type of lighthearted enjoyment they had when they were kids. In fact, a majority of the Middle East’s parents (66 percent) say they don’t have fun on a daily basis and 66 percent say they rarely experience the feelings of delight they did when they were children.

The “Global Spirit of Childhood Report,”conducted by YouGov on behalf of OREO, measured the spirit of childhood around the world in an effort to understand if people, both young and old, take the time to experience the simple joys of being a kid.

“We believe the sentiment of childhood should not be restricted to any single age group, and that it is more important now than ever before. The research findings in the UAE reflected what the global research revealed elsewhere and we learnt a great deal about spirit of childhood in the world, the region and the UAE during this exercise” said Khurram Siddiqi, Marketing Director,  Chocolates & Snacks, Kraft Foods GCC, MENA New Markets.


Oreo - Childhood Spirit
Oreo - Childhood Spirit. Photo: supplied


Family Fun: Worth Its Weight in Gold

While the report suggests the spirit of childhood may be at risk, parents’ desire to have fun with their children isn’t weakening. Three out of five parents (65 percent) say spending time having fun with their kids is more important to them than it was to their own parents when they were growing up.

Carefree fun has become such a rare treat for parents and their children that it’s worth its weight in gold – literally.  More than half of parents surveyed (59 percent) say they would trade part of their salary in exchange for more time with their kids.

And, 85 percent of parents surveyed across the GCC even say having fun as a family is “more important than anything else.”

Despite this overwhelming desire, 66 percent of adults are not spending moments of carefree fun on a daily basis.

Technology: A Double-Edged Sword

In a fast-motion 4G world, technology and social media have an increasingly dramatic impact on the dynamics of family life.  While 66 percent of parents globally agree that technology helps their family stay connected, it may come at a cost.

When they’re spending time as a family, more than half of parents (62 percent) say that their families are distracted by technology.

No group may experience this more than working parents, nearly three-quarters (70 percent) of which say their mobile devices and computer technology mean it is too easy to stay connected to work when spending time with family at home.

For today’s kids who have grown up with technology, its presence influences how they spend time with their parents and families. More than one-quarter of parents regionally (37 percent) say they communicate more with their children through technology than in-person.

There Is Hope

Despite pressures and distractions that affect the time families spend together and the state of childhood today, there’s hope. In fact, 86 percent of parents say they’re committed to making sure their kids don’t miss out on childhood and a majority (75 percent) say they themselves want to be more carefree like when they were children.

“Across continents and cultures, one thing we have in common is the desire to celebrate the kid inside all of us. 2012 marks the 100th birthday of OREO. In recognition, we’ll be finding more ways to celebrate the spirit of childhood and make special, simple moments happen for families and OREO fans around the world,” said Philip.

About The Survey
The survey was conducted during a two-week period in February 2012.  More than 800 parents with children under the age of 18 participated in this study. Local surveys were conducted via online interviews in five countries, including: KSA, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait.

Kraft Foods Inc. (NYSE: KFT) is a global snacks powerhouse with an unrivaled portfolio of brands people love. Proudly marketing delicious biscuits, confectionery, beverages, cheese, grocery products and convenient meals in approximately 170 countries, Kraft Foods had 2011 revenue of $54.4 billion. Twelve of the company’s iconic brands – Cadbury, Jacobs, Kraft, LU, Maxwell House, Milka, Nabisco, Oreo, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Tang and Trident – generate revenue of more than $1 billion annually. On Aug. 4, 2011, Kraft Foods announced plans to divide and create two independent public companies: a high-growth global snacks business and a high-margin North American grocery business. The transaction is expected to be completed before the end of 2012. A leader in innovation, marketing, health & wellness and sustainability, Kraft Foods is a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Standard & Poor’s 500, Dow Jones Sustainability Index and Ethibel Sustainability Index. Visit www.kraftfoodscompany.comand

OREO is the world’s favorite cookie, enjoyed by families and friends in more than 100 countries around the world. As one of Kraft Foods’ 12 “billion-dollar” brands, OREO is the best-selling biscuit of the 21st century with more than $1.5 billion in global annual revenues.  The OREO cookie twist, lick and dunk ritual has become the signature way to enjoy this iconic cookie for many different cultures around the world. OREO has a Facebook community of more than 23 million OREO lovers around the globe, representing 200+ countries and dozens of different languages. OREO ranks among the top five brand Facebook pages in the world.  OREO will celebrate its 100thbirthday on March 6, 2012.

YouGov (MENA) is a full service market research agency, with proprietary online panels, that covers the entire MENA region, Pakistan and India.  As part of the YouGov group of companies, we endeavor to provide our clients with the appropriate custom or product research solutions, depending on their exact requirements. As well as being the Middle East’s most quoted research agency, due to quality of our work & the experience of our researchers, we are seen as the region’s premier Qualitative and Quantitative research suppliers.

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