In Food Selection, Mother Knows Best.

Shopping series - Young woman with childMom has always been the driver of food choices for the family. I learned that quickly as a young account guy in the early 80s running the Pillsbury and Campbell Soup accounts at BBDO.

But back then, once Mom got into a groove and understood their family’s eating habits. her interest in having dramatically changing choices were not great. Sure sometimes, Mom tried to sneak through a new choice or a even private label brand (heaven forbid) to see if the family noticed. But for the most part, family food choices in the past were fairly routine in most households and nutrition was not high up on the criteria of things considered (or even understood). My job as the account guy on the Pillsbury account was to help Mom make a cake for their family using Pillsbury Plus cake mix, and Pillsbury Ready-to-Spread frosting.

However in today’s world, Moms have awoken to the reality that their family’s health is riding on their food choices, and in an increasingly obese America, the choices they make really matter.

Media Post recently had an interesting article on this subject on December 23, 2012 titled , Moms Will Change Food-Buying Habits in 2013. In the article. there were several fascinating stats from a recent study conducted by Fleishman-Hillard and, all pointing to new thinking in food marketing. Their findings were as follows:

1. Moms are open to change

96% of moms indicated that they will be making changes to their food-buying in 2013. That’s a lot of change.

2. They are more focused on nutrition than ever.

More than half of the moms surveyed said they started a stronger nutritional focus in 2012 by reducing purchases of snacks, sugar, processed foods, soda and carbohydrates.

3. Processed foods are becoming a no-no.

Almost half of moms want to buy less processed food in 2013, particularly moms younger than 30.

4. Moms are influenced by peers and bloggers, less so than by doctors and dietitians.

“Ads” the primary historical source of information may have less influence in today’s food choices. However, marketers are still aggressive in promoting their brands and even in the face of expected food inflation in 2013, ad budgets are expected to hold,  Food Ad Budgets Won’t Go Down as Prices Tick Up.

Our nation’s health is at stake and while the number of traditional households of yesteryear (mom, dad, 2.7 kids) may not be as prevalent. But in those remaining traditional households, moms have taken the reigns and are changing their family’s eating habits. They are doing so for the better, because as we always knew, mother really does know best.

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One Comment

  1. Cheryl Baker says:

    Hi, Lonny:

    I couldn’t agree more – moms know best in many buying decision categories – including traditionally male marketing-focused industries like car buying! Disney’s Magic of Healthy Living program builds on Nutritional Guidelines introduced in 2006. We’re partnering with parents to inspire kids to lead healthier lifestyles through better food and exercise choices.It’s making an impact! From a study done in May 2011, more than 60% of moms say the Magic of Healthy Living program made her child more open to trying nutritious foods, and 84% of the kids reported wanting to eat right. Nutrition is increasingly important, and marketers will do well to help mom make smart and healthy choices! Thanks for highlighting this important discussion.

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