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Moms as Food Shoppers: Grocery Store and Supercenter Patterns and Trends


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

Each year Moms have a hand in spending nearly $200 billion on food purchased for use at home, and of course food marketers and grocers have long targeted Moms as their essential consumer segment. Even so, marketers need to find new ways to engage today’s tech-immersed foodie Moms, who are at the epicenter of the new home-based food culture and in the vanguard of the movement toward healthy eating.

Packaged Facts Moms as Food Shoppers: Grocery Store and Supercenter Patterns and Trends delves deeply into the mindset of today’s Moms before their trip to the grocery store and analyzes their food shopping behavior in the store. The report provides actionable insights to help brand marketers and grocers understand what they can do to help today’s busy Moms achieve their goals of putting healthy and interesting home-cooked meals on the table while saving precious time and balancing their budgets.

Highlights of the Report

This completely new Packaged Facts report shows what marketers and grocers can expect from a new generation of Moms who turn to blogs for meal planning information before the store and use mobile apps to make sure they are getting the best deals in the store. Many of the report’s findings may challenge conventional thinking about Moms as food shoppers. For example, although marketers have traditionally appealed to the “pester power” of kids in the supermarket, the report reveals that on their most recent food shopping trip a majority (56%) of Moms were alone and blissfully free from the demands of their kids as they made their way up and down the aisles of the grocery store.

One of the major threads of the report is that Moms want grocery stores to step up to help them plan and prepare healthy family meals. Besides enhancing what they offer Moms on their websites, grocers can build relationships with Moms looking for interesting and innovative cooking tips by strengthening their in-store cooking and meal planner programs. Compared to food shoppers on average, 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.

The report also highlights broad societal trends that will have a significant impact on food marketers and grocers. For example, over the next few years the ongoing steady decline in the number of births in the United States will create headwinds for grocers and food marketers targeting Moms with kids at home. As Hispanic Moms with kids at home become an increasingly important segment of food shoppers, food marketers and grocers will need to shift their thinking to accommodate the perspectives of Latinas, who spend more money on items such as fresh fruits and vegetables on the perimeter of the grocery store and much less on frozen, canned and packaged foods in the center of the store.

Scope and Methodology

This report defines “Moms” as the 32 million women who are parents or guardians of children under the age of 18 who are living at home. The three sources of primary data in the report are as follows:

  • Spring 2012 Experian Simmons National NCS, which was fielded between June 2011 and June 2012. Trend data contained in the report are constructed from the Spring 2006 through Spring 2012 Experian Simmons National Consumer Studies. These studies were fielded during the 12-month period ending in June of each year.
  • Packaged Facts March 2011 Food Shopper Insights (FSI) Survey, an online survey of 2,000 U.S. adults who had shopped for groceries within 24 hours of being surveyed. Respondents in aggregate were Census representative on the demographic measures of gender, age, race/ethnicity, geographic region, household income and presence of children in the household.
  • Data generated by SymphonyIRI InfoScan Reviews, which track sales through U.S. supermarkets and grocery stores, drugstores, and mass merchandisers (including Target and Kmart but excluding Walmart) with annual sales of $2 million or more.
The report is also based upon data collected from a wide range of industry sources, including company websites, trade publications, business newspapers and magazines, consumer blogs and other releases from public companies.


  • Executive Summary
    • Highlights of the Report
    • Scope and Methodology
    • Topline Insights about Moms as Food Shoppers
      • Moms' Interest in Home-Cooked Meals and Healthy Ingredients Skyrockets
      • To Reach Food Shopper Moms, It's All About the Internet and Social Media
      • New and Exciting Recipes Key to Engaging Today's Moms
      • Moms More Open to Marketing Messages before the Grocery Store
      • Moms Look to Grocers to Help Their Families Eat Better
      • Moms Want Stores to Have Broad Selection of Natural and Organic Foods but Aren't Locavores
      • Value Still Matters to Moms
      • Moms Like It When Stores Make Food Shopping Convenient
      • Majority of Moms Are Solo Food Shoppers
      • Moms' Influence in Grocery Store Ebbs and Flows as Family Dynamics Evolve
      • Moms' Focus on Organic Foods Goes Downhill When Kids Start to Walk and Talk
      • Baby Bust Will Shift Landscape for Grocers
      • Hispanic Moms Will Bring Changes to Grocery Stores
    • Reaching Out to Moms Before the Grocery Store
      • Late Hours Appeal to Moms When Choosing a Grocery Store
      • From Walmart to SuperTarget to Whole Foods and Trader Joe's: How Food Shopper Moms Differ
      • Meal Planning at the Top of Their Minds When Moms Prepare a Shopping List
      • Moms Depend on Internet and Social Media to Plan Food Shopping Trips
    • Distinctive Patterns in the Grocery Store
      • Moms More Likely to Use Online Coupons in the Grocery Store
      • Coupons Persuade 5.3 Million Moms to Try New Food Products
      • Moms More Likely to Choose Store Brands
      • Moms Buy Lots of Store-Prepared Meals but Pass on Roasted/Rotisserie Chicken
      • Moms Lead the Way in Purchase of Non-Food Items
      • Moms Still Purchase Large Volumes of Convenience Foods
      • Fast-Growing Food Products Get Big Push from Moms
    • Moms and Healthy Eating
      • Moms More Likely to Seek Out Organic Foods
      • "Fit Moms" Driving Force in Move to Healthy Eating
      • Fit Moms Focus on Healthy Eating for Themselves as Well as Their Kids
      • Concerns about Obesity Inform Food Shopping Habits of Fit Moms
      • Home-Cooked Meals More Important
      • Moms Spend More Time Cooking Dinner
      • More Moms Turn to Recipes
      • Moms View Recipes as Vital Food Shopping Tool
      • Moms Prefer Online Recipe Sources
      • 9.4 Million "Recipe Moms" Head to Grocery Stores
      • Recipe Moms are Foodies
      • Parenting Blogs Have Major Impact on Moms' Food Choices
      • "Recipe Bloggers" Should Get More Respect from Marketers
    • Mom the Decider…or Do Kids Really Rule?
      • Moms Not Always in Charge in the Supermarket
      • "Decider Moms" Less Amenable to What Their Kids Want
      • Single, Working Moms More Likely to Involve Kids in Deciding What to Buy in the Supermarket
      • Decider Moms Hold Line on Healthy Eating and Home Cooking
      • Healthy Eating Takes Back Seat When Kids Are in Charge
  • The Topline
    • Topline Findings
      • Moms Have Outsized Impact on Grocers' Margins
      • New Generation of Moms Lays Down Gauntlet for Food Marketers
      • Surge in Population of Moms Focusing on Healthy Heating
        • Table Changes in Attitudes toward Healthy Food, Moms vs. All Consumers 2007-2012 (in thousands)
      • Chef Mom Takes Center Stage
        • Table Change in Attitudes toward Cooking, Moms vs. All Consumers 2007-2012 (in thousands)
      • Moms on a Constant Quest to Find New Food Products and Recipes for Their Families
        • Table Change in Attitudes toward Trying Out New Recipes and Food Products, Moms vs. All Consumers 2007-2012 (in thousands)
      • Store-Prepared Meals Still a Good Bet with Moms
      • For Food Shopper Moms, It's All About the Internet and Social Media
    • Taking Advantage of Marketing Opportunities
      • Seizing Opportunities Depends on Understanding Differing Segments of Moms as Food Shoppers
      • Recipe Moms
      • Fit Moms
      • Decider Moms
      • Coupon Moms
      • Marketers Ride the Wave of Healthy Eating
      • Grocers Benefit from Making Their Stores More Convenient for Moms
      • Marketers Hope to Cement Brand Loyalty by Appealing to Moms with Infants with Dedicated Baby Sections
      • "Lunchbox Department" Works for Busy Moms
    • Looking to the Future
      • Baby Bust Will Shift Landscape for Grocers
        • Table Change in Population of Children under 18 by Age Group, 2006-2011 (in thousands)
      • Dip in Population of Younger Kids May Affect Moms' Fetish for Organic Foods
      • Hispanic Moms Will Wield More Clout
      • Hispanic Moms Will Bring Change to Grocery Stores
      • Hispanic Moms More Likely to Be Young Homemakers
      • Hispanic Moms Are Perimeter Shoppers
      • Cultural Differences Persist
        • Table Demographic Summary, Hispanic vs. All Moms
        • Table Annual Expenditures on Food, Hispanic vs. Non-Hispanic Consumer Units
        • Table Products Least Likely To Be Used by Households with Hispanic Moms
  • Reaching Out to Moms Before the Grocery Store
    • How Moms Decide Where to Buy Groceries
      • Late Hours Appeal to Moms When Choosing a Grocery Store
        • Table Most Important Reasons for Deciding Where to Shop on Most Recent Grocery Shopping Trip, Moms vs. All Food Shoppers
      • Store's Selection of Natural and Organic Foods Key Factor
        • Table Types of Products Most Important in Deciding Where to Shop for Groceries, Moms vs. All Food Shoppers
      • Moms More Tuned in to Grocery Store Services
        • Table Awareness of Services and Programs of Grocery Store Where Shopped Most Recently, Moms vs. All Food Shoppers
      • Moms Lean toward Discount Stores and Supercenters
        • Table Type of Stores Usually Shop for Groceries, Moms vs. All Food Shoppers
      • From Walmart to SuperTarget to Whole Foods and Trader Joe's: How Food Shopping Moms Differ
      • Demographics
      • Consumer Attitudes
        • Table Demographic Profile of Moms by Type of Food Store Shopped in Last Four Weeks
        • Table Selected Consumer Attitudes of Moms by Type of Food Store Shopped in Last Four Weeks
    • What Moms Do to Get Ready for Grocery Shopping
      • Moms Have Different Motivations for Grocery Shopping
        • Table Motivations for Most Recent Grocery Shopping Trip, Moms vs. All Food Shoppers
      • Spur-of-the-Moment Grocery Shopping Part of a Mom's Life
      • Moms Plan Grocery Shopping Trips More Intensively
        • Table Percent Doing Any Kind of Planning Beforehand (such as Making a Shopping List, Gathering Coupons, Looking for Product or Sale Information, Looking for Menu or Recipe Ideas, Using the Internet or Social Media), Moms vs. All Food Shoppers
      • Moms Depend on Internet to Plan Grocery Shopping
        • Table Percent Using the Internet to Plan Most Recent Grocery Shopping Trip, Moms vs. All Food Shoppers
      • Social Media Help Moms Plan to Go Food Shopping
        • Table Use of Social Media, Moms vs. All Food Shoppers
      • Meal Planning at the Top of Their Minds When Moms Prepare a Shopping List
        • Table Types of Information Included on Shopping List by Those Preparing Shopping Lists Prior to Most Recent Grocery Shopping Trip, Moms vs. All Food Shoppers
      • Before-the-Store Promotional Communications Get Moms' Attention
        • Table Percent Seeing/Hearing Ads or Getting Any Promotional Communications from Store Where Most Recently Went Grocery Shopping, Moms vs. All Food Shoppers
  • Distinctive Patterns in the Grocery Store
    • Overview
      • Moms are High-Dollar, High Volume Grocery Shoppers
        • Table Average Amount Spent Per Week Grocery Shopping, Moms vs. All Consumers
        • Table Number of Items Purchased on Most Recent Grocery Shopping Trip, Moms vs. All Food Shoppers
      • Big Spending Moms Have Distinct Profile
        • Table Demographic Profile of Moms by Amount Spent Per Week on Groceries
      • Moms More Alert to In-Store Promotions and Advertising
        • Table Awareness of In-Store Promotions and Advertising, Moms vs. All Consumers
      • Moms More Likely to Use Online Coupons
        • Table Use of Coupons/Coupon Codes on Most Recent Grocery Shopping Trip, Moms vs. All Food Shoppers
      • Coupons Often Persuade 5.3 Million Moms to Try New Food Products
        • Table Number of Moms Strongly Agreeing "Often I Can Be Swayed by Coupons to Try New Food Products" (in thousands)
        • Table Attitudes toward New Food, Coupon Moms vs. All Moms
        • Table Demographic Profile of Moms Strongly Influenced by Coupons to Try New Food Products
        • Table High-Volume Food Product Use by Households with Coupon Moms
      • Moms More Likely to Choose Store Brands
        • Table Use of Grocery Store Brands by Moms "Most of the Time"
    • What Moms Buy on the Perimeter of the Store
      • Moms More Likely to Buy Fresh Herbs and Greens
        • Table Purchase of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables and Meats, Poultry and Seafood on Most Recent Grocery Shopping Trip, Moms vs. All Food Shoppers
      • Moms Are Leading Customers for Store-Prepared Food Items
        • Table Purchase of Self-Serve, Store-Prepared Food Items (such as from Salad Bar, Hot Food/Soup Bar) on Most Recent Grocery Shopping Trip, Moms vs. All Food Shoppers
      • Moms More Likely to Eat on the Go and in the Store
        • Table Where Food Shoppers Eat Meals or Snacks Away from Home, Moms vs. All Food Shoppers
    • Moms in the Center of the Store
      • Moms Lead the Way in Purchase of Non-Food Items
        • Table Purchase of Non-Food Items on Most Recent Grocery Shopping Trip, Moms vs. All Food Shoppers
      • Moms Far More Likely to Purchase Large Volumes of Products in the Center of the Store
      • Moms a Major Factor Behind Food Products with Fastest-Growing Sales
        • Table Moms as High-Volume Users of Food Products by Product Type and Quantity, 2012
        • Table Impact of Moms on Growth of Selected Food Products, 2011-2012
  • Moms and Healthy Eating
    • Overview
      • Food Health and Safety More Important to Moms
        • Table Attitudes toward Food Safety and Health, Moms vs. All Food Shoppers
      • Moms Look for Food Products with Healthy Ingredients
        • Table Healthy Food Products Purchased on Most Recent Grocery Shopping Trip, Moms vs. All Food Shoppers
      • Moms Seek Out Organic Foods When Shopping the Perimeter
        • Table Use of Organic Food Products Found on Perimeter of Store, Moms vs. All Consumers
      • Moms Also More Likely to Choose Organic Products in the Center of the Store
        • Table Use of Organic Food Products Found in the Center of the Store, Moms vs. All Consumers
    • How Marketers Are Responding to Moms' Interest in Healthy Eating
      • Walmart's "Great for You" Program Out to Engage Moms Concerned about Healthy Eating
      • New Products Target Health-Conscious Moms
      • Gerber Offers Healthy Foods for Busy Moms with Toddlers
      • HappyFamily Launches Organic Food Products for Kids
      • Ready Pac Markets to Tweens and Moms
      • Hidden Valley Conspires with Moms to Get Kids to Love Their Veggies
      • Overview
        • Table Demographic Profile of Fit Moms
      • Fit Moms Focus on Healthy Eating
        • Table Attitudes toward Healthy Eating, Fit Moms vs. All Moms
      • Organic Food Products Chosen by Fit Moms More Often
        • Table Use of Organic/Natural Food and Other Organic Grocery Store Items, Fit Moms vs. All Moms
        • Table Use of Organic Food Products by Category, Fit Moms vs. All Moms
      • Health Concerns Drive Food Shopping Habits of Fit Moms
        • Table Food Products Most Likely to Be Used in Households, Fit Moms vs. All Moms
        • Table Food Products Most and Least Likely to Be Used in High Volumes, Fit Moms vs. All Moms
  • Recipe Moms
    • Overview
      • Moms Spend More Time Cooking Dinner
      • More Moms Turn to Recipes
        • Table Trends in Moms' Attitudes toward Using Recipes, 2005 vs. 2012 (in thousands)
      • Moms View Recipes as Vital Food Shopping Tool
        • Table Importance of Recipes for Food Shoppers, Moms vs. All Food Shoppers
      • Moms Prefer Online Recipe Sources
      • Moms More Interested in Ideas during Meal Planning, Turn to Recipes When Making a Meal
    • Who Are "Recipe Moms?"
      • 9.4 Million "Recipe Moms" Head to Grocery Stores
      • Recipe Moms More Likely to Be Stay-at-Home Moms
        • Table Demographic Profile of Recipe Moms
    • Why Recipe Moms Matter
      • Recipe Moms Are Trendsetters in the Supermarket
        • Table Attitudes toward Trying Out New Food Products, Recipe Moms vs. All Moms
      • Recipe Moms are Foodies
        • Table Attitudes toward Eating and Cooking, Recipe Moms vs. All Moms
      • Fresh, Organic and Natural Foods Entice Recipe Moms
        • Table Attitudes toward Selecting Foods, Recipe Moms vs. All Moms
    • Recipe Moms and Online and Social Media
      • Recipe Moms More Likely to Seek Out Product Information on Social Media
        • Table Use of Social Media, Recipe Moms vs. All Moms
        • Table Attitudes toward Social Media, Recipe Moms vs. All Moms
      • Recipe Moms Use Social Sharing and Networking Sites to Keep Tabs on Brands and Companies
        • Table Following Brands and Companies, Recipe Moms vs. All Moms
      • Millennial Recipe Moms Most Engaged with Social Media
    • Marketing Implications
      • As Moms Move from Magazines to Online Sources of Recipes, Food Manufacturers and Marketers Advised to Adjust Thinking
      • Blogs Have Major Impact on Food Choices of Recipe Moms
      • "Recipe Bloggers" Should Get More Respect from Food Marketers
      • Moms Still Tune In TV Chefs for Meal Ideas
  • Mom the Decider…or Do Kids Really Rule?
    • Overview
      • Majority of Moms Are Solo Food Shoppers
        • Table With Whom Shopped on Most Recent Grocery Shopping Trip, Moms vs. All Food Shoppers (% of those shopping with others)
      • Moms Not Always in Charge in the Supermarket
        • Table Purchase Decisions by Moms in Last 12 Months by Type of Purchase and Type of Purchase Decision
      • "Decider Moms" Less Amenable to What Their Kids Want
        • Table Attitudes of Moms toward Shopping with Children by Degree of Involvement in Food Purchase Decisions
      • Single, Working Moms More Likely to Involve Kids in Deciding What to Buy in the Supermarket
        • Table Demographic Profile of Moms by Type of Food Purchase Decision: Joint Decision with Children vs. Sole Purchase Decision and Joint Decision with Spouse/Partner
      • Hispanic Moms Like to Shop with Their Families
        • Table Attitudes of Moms toward Shopping with Family and Children by Race and Hispanic Origin
      • Hispanic Moms More Influenced by Kids When They Go Shopping
        • Table Impact of Children on Shopping Behavior by Race and Hispanic Origin
      • Tweens Erode Moms' Authority in Grocery Stores
        • Table Food Purchase Decisions by Moms in Last 12 Months by Type of Purchase and Age of Children in Household
    • Impact of Kids in the Grocery Store
      • Decider Moms Hold Line on Healthy Eating and Home Cooked Meals
        • Table Household Use of Food Products by Type of Food Purchase Decision by Moms
      • Healthy Eating Takes Back Seat When Kids Are in Charge
        • Table High Volume Purchases of Desserts and Snacks by Moms Strongly Agreeing "I Find It Hard to Resist My Children's Request for Special Purchases"

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