Key Takeaways for Marketers:
In marketing to mothers, brands should be aware of the pressures that moms feel in balancing the needs of their profession, their families and themselves. Snack food marketers should reinforce product benefits like convenience and portability to appeal to the consumer perception of being constantly on-the-go and out-of-time.
Brand messaging should communicate the emotional benefit of avoiding chaotic and unpleasant moments through proactive snack food purchases. Whether an on-the-go snack is serving as a pacifier or a reward, it’s always wise for a mother to have on hand.
Video Chat Network was tasked with understanding what’s important to moms when it comes to on-the-go eating. Here are the top 4 reasons our virtual focus group respondents gave for why they eat on the go:
1. We Multi-Task:
Being a mother is a full-time job, and for most of our respondents – not their only job. In juggling their professional and personal responsibilities, mothers are inclined to multitask in an attempt to get everything done. As such, on-the-go eating emerges as a solution for saving time.
“It’s a matter of saving time, but still getting something to eat when we are on the way to someplace else.” Tracy C.
2. We Are Always On-The-Go:
The rushed sensation that there’s always “someplace else” to be supports another key consumer insight: we eat on the go because we are always on the go!
“Nowadays, everyone is so busy. It used to be that people did most of their eating at home but now we do so much of it outside of our home.” Tara R.
There was a general perception across online focus group respondents that the sit-down meal was a thing of the past. Modern moms feel like every moment is a means to an end, leaving little opportunity for family meal occasions designed to be an end in themselves.
“I guess it’s a reflection of our multi-tasking society. When we are on-the-go, we aren’t sitting at a table and just eating. We’re running to the store, going to soccer practice, visiting grandma, or a thousand other things!” Lauren C.
3. We Avoid Problems:
Our online focus group respondents all recognized the chaos associated with their jobs as mothers. Eating on the go emerged as a solution for minimizing this chaos by avoiding problems associated with hungry children!
“Sometimes it’s pretty important to have an item, like after a soccer game when the kids have used so much energy and all they can think about is a snack and a drink.” Tara R.
Mothers recognized the value of proactively planning their day ahead of time to avoid stressful situations. Packing food for on-the-go eating was seen as a solution for keeping their children happy without having to resort to more expensive or less healthy options like fast food.
4. We Seek Rewards and Treats:
While several mothers in our panel considered on-the-go eating a part of their family’s routine, there were respondents that approached it more as a treat or reward for their child.
“Our first on-the-go occasion was treats after the orthodontist.” Jamie B.
Mothers that described themselves as more health-conscious (vs. time-strapped) were more likely to teach their kids about good eating habits. This could translate to a more mindful approach toward eating, where multi-tasking is not the optimal solution if it results in less conscious eating of more unhealthy and expensive snack foods.
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