Lifestyle & Design Cluster is collaborating with three expert EU clusters within the KIDS sector
Four cluster will generate, gather, and create tools for penetrating international markets for European SMEs producing products for kids
The overall project objective is to foster the internationalization of the EU children’s industry by supporting the setting-up of a European Children’s Cluster (the ESCP-4i) to uncover and exploit the most promising international business opportunities for the children & family markets. KIDS ESCP-4i will bring together many SMEs, large companies, research and technological partners, public authorities, academia, etc. from different disciplines in a unique European-wide collaborative platform for internationalization. Circularity, digitalization, and gender-based perspective will be key players in the project.
When speaking about the end-user of this market (this is children or kids), the project refers to children between 0 and 12 years old. Nevertheless, this approach includes families, as they are the key players taking decisions on behalf of children, and therefore its consumption patterns, habits and preferences need to be integrated when designing business strategies. Some studies estimate the annual value of the EU children market on € 20 bn.
Challenges & barriers for internationalization
- Not enough working capital to finance exports
- The difficulty of identifying foreign business opportunities
- Not enough information to locate / analyze markets
- Inability to contact potential overseas customers
- The difficulty of obtaining reliable foreign representation
- Lack of managerial time to deal with internationalization
- Not enough and/or untrained staff
- Difficulties finding skilled staff in destination markets for selling or supporting after sales.
- Digital transformation is generating changes in all sectors and for all size companies. Technology opens a new space of experiences with games and toys. Parents, aware of the importance of technology in the future of their children, are increasingly interested in acquiring technological products that, through play and entertainment, help to develop skills and acquire knowledge. When a toy incorporates technology, it can become more than a novelty to be valued for the consumers. 2015 was the first year where there was a sustained interest in connected toys.
- The EU is the world’s second-largest toy exporter behind China. According to the EC5, the EU market for traditional toys and games – such as dolls, construction toys, sports toys, board games and puzzles – was worth a robust €15.8 billion in 2011 at retail selling prices.
- Education is capital for the EU society, as acknowledged by the EC Communication on the Digital Communication Action Plan stating that both education & training play a vital role in boosting growth, innovation, and job creation.
General facts about the kids industry
- SoME is a source of advice & knowledge for millennial parents today
- Z generation is 100% digital natives representing 25% of the World population
- ALFA: 25 mil. Babies are born worldwide
- Also this generation will be prepared for jobs that don’t exist today
- By 2028 India could overtake China’s population
- EU is the second-largest toy exporter after China
- The EU toy industry faces some key challenges, from the decrease of the number of children worldwide to the increased popularity of other leisure alternatives like videogames or tablets