Marketing to Moms: Restaurants v. Food Network

November 24, 2009 § 2 Comments

Is Mom making reservations or making Food Network recipes? Are we trading Big Macs for Mac and Cheese?

While the restaurant industry benefited from the growth of two income households for much of the past three decades, restaurants are experiencing the first real shrinkage.  Spurred by the need for convenience caused by busy schedules, families were using restaurants as a substitute for the family dinner table.

But a 2009 Nielsen survey shows that 46% of American households say they are eating out less.  Value-priced prepared meals are posting double digit increases in supermarkets, supercenters and club stores.
Nielsen reports that household recessionary strategies include:

  • Reducing unnecessary spending (27%)
  • Driving less (14%)
  • Shopping for bargains (13%)
  • Using coupons (12%)
  • Combining shopping trips (8%)
  • Going out less for entertainment (6%)
  • Purchasing more private label goods (5%)

To help Moms in planning meals, they are turning to web-based resources and TV chefs for inspiration.  According to Nielsen, more than one million viewers watched the Food Network in prime time in 2009, a 16% increase over 2008.

Meal planning has become one of the largest and fastest growing online activities, with the average browser spending roughly 10 minutes online planning meals.  Retailers like Meijer and Whole Foods are developing iPhone applications so that shoppers have the handy tool at their fingertips.

What should restaurants do?

  • Increase emphasis on take-out so Moms can combine trips
  • Provide flexibility in choices for family meals
  • Provide extra value for parents – like bundled meals, activities for children and more healthy meal options
  • Make purchase and ordering easy with mobile text and iPhone app options

Sorry, got to sign off.  I’m watching Top Chef and planning my weekly shopping stop with my Whole Food app.

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§ 2 Responses to Marketing to Moms: Restaurants v. Food Network

  • karenrocks says:

    I do a cooking/recipe blog and most of my readers are moms looking for different tastier recipes than going out for dinner. Most of the requests for recipes are for ones with few ingredients and vegetarian. A sign of the economy reflected in the meals? Or a sign of moms trying to cook healthier and quickly? Could be a combination of both.

    • Jamie Dunham says:

      Thanks for the follow. I love to cook as well and think that people are rediscovering the value of cooking.

      Jamie Dunham

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