Date of Award

January 2017

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Business Administration (MBA)


Management, Marketing, and International Business

First Advisor

Weiling Zhuang

Department Affiliation

Management, Marketing, and International Business

Second Advisor

Faridah Awang

Department Affiliation

Management, Marketing, and International Business

Third Advisor

Beth Polin

Department Affiliation

Management, Marketing, and International Business


The purpose of this thesis is to lay the groundwork that could lead to future research by exploring the pester power of preschoolers in reference to product packaging and grocery shopping and with regard to gender, age, and birth order. Preschoolers can act as powerful persuaders on parental spending, specifically through the use of nagging, pestering, or aggressive behaviors. Marketers often employ techniques such as using child-oriented packaging to attract a child to certain products in order to motivate a desire for purchase and thus affecting the buying decisions of parents. This study analyzes preschoolers (2 to 5 years-of-age) in the United States from the perspectives of parents.

The results of this study emphasize the following: that preschoolers can act as persuaders on parental spending and, due to requesting styles resulting from immature expressive language skills and egocentrism, can have an impact on purchase decisions made by parents during in-store grocery shopping trips; the importance of packaging to the marketing mix, especially with regard to preschoolers and their assessment of products based on visual cues; and the possible advantages of using birth order as a variable, in addition to age and gender, when segmenting the children's market.

Overall, the results suggest that packaging has an influence on the product preferences of preschoolers, and that preschoolers have moderate influence on the buying behaviors of parents. Preschoolers exert influence over parental purchases most often with pestering tactics, especially with the purchase of gummy snacks and boxed cereal, and toiletries like first-aid bandages, toothpaste, and bubble bath.

Included in

Marketing Commons