Passengers with children ‘more likely’ to visit and spend in duty free stores

By Kristiane Sherry |

Peter Mohn on passengers with children

Peter Mohn, Owner & CEO of m1nd-set, says that the ‘pester power’ of children is powerful

Passengers with children are more likely to visit duty free stores, make purchases and spend more than child-free shoppers, new insights from Swiss analyst m1nd-set show.

Data shows that 45% of all passengers travelling with children visited airport shops on their last international trip. This compares to 42% of travellers without children.

Among those who purchased, spend per item of those with children was $42, while for child-free shoppers the figure was $39. In addition, those with children purchased slightly more products on average. 

Electronics, clothing and accessories, jewellery and watches, alcohol, and souvenirs and gifts all ranked highly for shoppers with children. 

The m1nd-set insights show that 65% of those shopping with children were middle aged, compared to 46% of those travelling without children.

This group were more likely to plan their purchases: almost half (49%) of those with children, compared to 45% without.  

The findings were based on insights from recent interviews with 12,000 international passengers at 60 global airports. 

Passengers with children: Value a key purchase driver

According to the m1nd-set research, value was a significant purchase driver for those travelling with children. Recommendations from friends were also more important for this group.

The ability to share the product was key (18% versus 12% without children), as was the easy navigation of a duty free store.

A major difference between the two segments was the sensitivity to promotions. For shoppers with children, 62% purchased from a promotion, compared to 51% of child-free respondents. 

Purpose of purchase among duty free buyers with children

Purpose of purchase among duty free buyers with children

Those with children were also more likely to buy travel retail-exclusive products than those travelling without children. 

“Children tend to deploy  numerous strategies when influencing their parents to make a purchase. These range from aggressive and persuasive tactics to emotional tactics, plain rational or by demonstrating in depth product knowledge,” said m1nd-set owner and CEO Peter Mohn. 

“We see also that older children tend to wield greater influence over their parents’ shopping behaviour. They tend to be more resourceful and better equipped with the  extensive knowledge and information from influencers across social media.

Categories visited among duty free buyers with children

Categories visited among duty free buyers with children

“These are of course the much-talked-about and high-potential Gen Z consumers, so while those who are not yet in the job market may not be spending themselves, they are still able to influence their parents’ shopping behaviour. 

“Adolescent and even pre-adolescent children tend to have a better understanding of the latest trends and cool brands. They serve as the information-gatherers and tend to advocate for specific brands.” 

‘Pester-power’ potential and opportunities

Mohn added that industry stakeholders can capitalise on the opportunities presented by families travelling and shopping together. 

“The influence that children, and the presence of children, have on their parents when travelling and shopping in duty free and travel retail stores is significant and not to be underestimated,” he continued.

“To harness the potential of ‘pester power’ as the kids’ influence is often referred to, several factors need to be considered. 

“Stakeholders need to consider where  and how to reach these influencers with inclusive messaging that targets parents and their children.  

Planned visits among duty free buyers with children

Planned visits among duty free buyers with children

“Brands need to create engaging, age-appropriate content and deliver it through the apps and  websites where children source their information.

“It’s important to find new and  unique ways to grab their attention, engage their senses and appeal to them, so they in turn  appeal to their parents’ and their desire to please.”

The children’s market was a major focus for Perfetti Van Melle when it launched its new Chupa Chups gifting products for at this year’s TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes.


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