The number of new foods targeted to children in the United States dropped 11.4% in 2004.

There were 1,328 new bar codes for children-targeted products last year, down from 1,499 in 2003, according to Productscan, which defines children's products as anything targeting children in packaging or marketing, such as squeezable yoghurt or Lunchables.

Consumer concern over unhealthy snacks appears to have resulted in the downturn. After three years of steady growth, and in a year that saw an overall increase in food product introductions, the push for better-for-you food and parental demands for fewer sugar-filled and fat-laden products seems to have struck a chord with producers.

According to the Productscan report, Nestlé introductions dropped to 16 new products from 26 in 2003. Unilever dropped to four from 21, as did ConAgra. Campbell Soup cut its introductions in half.