In Australia, kids aged six to 12 years are a consumer segment with a personal spending power of over $2.5 billion annually – all of it disposable income. They are also a powerful influence on household purchasing decisions and savvy when it comes to brands and advertising.

To understand the influence and spending power of kids, ViacomCBS Global Insights conducted a study of over 8,000 kids aged six to 12 years, and parents of kids aged six to 12, across 16 countries around the world – including over 500 in Australia.

We found that among Australian kids and parents alike, eight in 10 agree that kids play a role in household purchase decisions.

From family eats to big ticket buys: the categories that kids are influencing

“Kidfluence” spreads far and wide. We measured 26 categories and found that kids’ involvement in purchase decisions stretches across big and small ticket items.

Generally, 93% of kids have influence over food and groceries, including 72% who influence the weekly shop. And 90% influence the restaurants and quick service restaurants (QSRs) their families eat at.

When it comes to entertainment, kidfluence is at its most powerful. 97% of Aussie kids aged six to 12 years influence their family’s entertainment decisions, including 87% who help select movies at the cinema and 88% who select TV shows to view at home.

It’s no surprise that Aussie kids are hugely influential in selecting a gaming console (69%), but over 55% also have a say in the purchasing of television sets, computers, and even mobile phones.

Kids are often the primary focus of family holidays – and they not only have influence over where to go and what to do (81% of Aussie kids), but even the hotel and overnight accommodation (59%).

Kidfluence even extends to the biggest purchase decision a household might make in a year: a new car, with 54% of Aussie kids having their say in matters.

Beyond their strong influence over their family’s purchase decisions, Aussie kids aged six to 12 are a spending powerhouse of their own.

Pocket money equals purchase power

Some 83% of Aussie kids have their own money and, on average, they receive a weekly allowance of $21.90 (USD$16.70). That’s a huge amount compared to the global average. On average, Australian kids earn USD$6 more a week than their friends in the US (USD$10.70), and a bigger amount than kids in Germany (USD$7.90) and the UK (USD$4.80).

That equates to $2.59 billion Australian dollars in spending power a year, and that’s just for six- to 12-year-olds!

Kids don’t just have influence and cash; they also can persuade. Some 64% of Aussie kids have made a case – or a PowerPoint presentation – for things they want. This is far higher than the global average of 49%.

What does kidfluence mean for brands?

Aussie kids are also engaging with brands. Fully 84% say they “really like” certain brands, and 76% feel it’s worth paying more for a brand or product they like. They’re more likely than the global average to follow certain brands (75%) and to say they enjoy watching advertising for things they like (78%).

When brands can reach kids in a trusted environment, with a thoughtful message in quality, beloved content, they can unlock one of the most powerful voices in the household. It might be a little voice, but it has big influence.