The 1954 Kroger "Youthful buyers on their own" campaign


In an effort to learn more about the consumer tastes of youngsters, who strongly influence family buying, the Kroger Food Foundation recently turned some loose in one of its supermarkets to see what would happen. 44 children in Cincinnati, ranging from 6 to 10 years - 27 boys, and 27 girls - were rounded up and told to take any 20 items they wanted. A panel of sociologists and marketing experts, most of whom had predicted the youngsters would run wild after ice cream and candy, was on hand. But the pint-sized consumers confounded the experts almost as soon as they began filling their "bascarts". Though there was some heavy lifting of soft drinks, they all but ignored toys, comic books, and ice cream and marketed soberly with heavy emphasis on staples. TV advertising explained the rush on bread and cereal, but nobody was able to explain the 8-year-old boy who turned up with beer and dog food. "Why dog food?" he was asked. "I like dog food," he replied.

Image below: big bag of flour is choice of David Thompson, 9. "Mother has many uses for it." he said.


images and info provided by the LIFE Magazine / LIFE Magazine International / LIFE Magazine Atlantic ARCHIVE from the Zetu Harrys Collection