Our latest research published in Spielwarenmesse looks at the predictions made in the annual Kids Insights Future Forecast Report but now focusing more on the toy industry.
We have recently issued our annual Kids Insights Future Forecast report, which makes 10 predictions for 2021. The predicted trends are based upon the attitudes, behaviours, and consumption patterns of kids, tweens and teens, looking at their lives both on and offline.
One of the key trends is ‘A New Dawn for Digital Spend’, which spans across so many different elements of the kids ecosystem. In the kids industry, the digitisation of education and socialisation has lead to an surge in the younger generation’s access to technology. In the UK, two thirds of tweens now have access to a mobile phone. In France, we have seen more than a 20% year-on-year increase in mobile ownership amongst the same age group.
This generation are as comfortable existing in a virtual world as they are the physical, and they expect a seamless integration between the two. We have seen many key development milestones just as likely to be reached today in a virtual world as the physical; a child’s first concert for example could just as likely happen within the gaming platform as it could in a real-life venue.
Video games have provided a platform for content and marketing opportunities during the pandemic – Travis Scott’s virtual concert in Fortnite, the most popular console game amongst tweens in the UK, France, Italy and Spain, amassed a world record 12 million concurrent users. Other games and artists have collaborated since, such as Lil Nas X’s virtual concert on Roblox, the most popular PC game amongst UK tweens. We anticipate that this trend will continue even once artists can tour again – the ability to reach a global audience of kids in an instant is not something a real-life gig can offer. With this development comes licensing opportunity also – cosmetic items can be offered in-game as a form of merchandise, akin to buying a t-shirt at a show. An average of 5% of teens across the UK, France and Spain now dedicate over £5 a month to in-experience spending.
However, as lockdown restrictions prevailed and parents were working from home and kids weren’t in schools, the opportunity arose for families to come together offline, which is is another key trend in the Future Forecast report – the return of traditional hobbies. In the UK, we noticed a 63% year-on-year increase in the number of young teens playing board games with their parents. At their peak throughout lockdown, 38% of these kids were playing Monopoly as a family unit, while 33% were playing Articulate!. Board games being considered as a favourite toy for 5-18s has almost doubled across the UK, Italy, Spain and Germany.
We can expect to see more innovation in the board game market moving forward, as companies will seek to build on this recent success with new developments, but also look at ways to enhance the traditional offering with digital elements that kids are already accustomed to. Already, we have seen Nintendo innovate within this industry, merging a digital gaming experience with a traditional, customisable board game. Mattel Television is currently developing a game show based on Uno, which will incorporate audience participation, while the game Articulate! produced an online version of their cards so that people could play online via video call, at no additional cost. The amalgamation of the digital and physical as the lines continue to blur will be a key trend to watch as we move into 2021.
The annual Kids Insights Future Forecast report, which makes 10 predictions based on its extensive experience of the kids’ ecosystem, and is available to download at www.kidsinsights.com/futureforecast