Social, Net Heavily Influence Moms' Food Choices

Woman-baby-supermarket-Shutterstock-BA new report confirms the significant and growing influence of the Internet and social media in the shopping decisions of U.S. moms.

In preparing to go shopping, mothers are 43% more likely to go online to gather coupons and 38% more likely to look at store Web sites than food shoppers as a whole, according to Packaged Facts’ “Moms as Food Shoppers: Grocery Store and Supercenter Patterns and Trends” report

Further, moms are nearly twice as likely as food shoppers overall to have used social media to plan their most recent grocery shopping trip (20% versus 11%). And in addition to consulting blogs prior to shopping, they are increasingly using mobile apps to ensure that they’re getting the best deals while shopping. 

Technology’s influence has been intensified by increased at-home meal consumption and mothers’ desire to make meals interesting and enjoyable, as well as nutritious and healthy. According to Packaged Facts’ analysis, 41% of all moms (13.3 million) consider the kitchen to be the most important room in their homes, 61% (19.7 million) say that they really enjoy cooking, and growing numbers are in search of exciting meal alternatives and eager to try new recipes and food products.

The Internet and social media are prime inspirations for these moms. In fact, their influence often supersedes much of the purchasing sway traditionally exerted by the children in their homes, notes Packaged Fact research director David Sprinkle.
Moms are also increasingly looking to food retailers to help them plan and prepare healthy meals that their families like. For example, moms are 33% more likely to choose grocery stores offering cooking classes or cooking videos and 23% more likely to pick stores providing meal planner and recipe information. They’re also 16% more likely to say that they saw or heard promotional ads or communications from the store where they most recently went grocery shopping.

A few other points from the extensive profile of moms’ food shopping habits provided in the report:

* Value still matters most.  Compared to consumers on average, moms are more likely to choose store brands in all of the food products that have store brands tracked by the Experian Simmons National Consumer Study. Categories in which they are most likely to buy store brands include frozen vegetables, canned tomato products, dry packaged pasta, bread, butter, ice cream and canned/jar vegetables. Moms are least likely to choose store brands for beverages.
Also, 53% of moms used coupons or coupon codes on their last grocery trip, versus 49% of shoppers overall. And among coupon users, moms were 47%  more likely to use a store coupon and 27% more likely to use a manufacturer coupon they got online. 

*Moms want organic/natural food assortments, but they aren’t locavores:  Between 2007 and 2012, the number of moms reporting that they especially look for organic or natural foods when they’re food shopping jumped from seven million to 9.2 million, or  31%. However, moms are less likely than the average shopper to select a store based on the availability of locally-grown foods and produce (19% versus 22%).
Also, moms are increasingly less likely to seek out organic foods as their children get older. About 39% of moms with kids under age two use organic foods, versus 33% of those with kids aged three to five, 29% with kids aged six to 11, and 25% with kids aged 12 to 17.

*Moms still purchase large volumes of convenience foods.  Moms are 92% more likely to live in a household that used four or more packages of frozen waffles/pancakes/French toast in the past 30 days. Many other convenience foods also have an above-average likelihood of being consumed in high volumes in households with moms, such as complete packaged dinner mixes (67% more likely). Households with moms are also more likely to consume snacks and desserts in high volumes. 

"Woman with Baby Food Shopping from Shutterstock"

 

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