Industry News | August 8, 2011

Moms Decide on Dining, Especially Among Immigrants

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The past 30 years have seen an increase in immigrants from Asia, Latin America, Central America, and South America come to the United States. A new study by Technomic and C3 finds that regardless of ethnicity, moms are the most likely members of their families to make decisions on restaurant patronage and that, despite their diverse tastes, many share similar motivations and attitudes about food.

Technomic Director of Consumer Research Sara Monnette says restaurants will need to respond to the continuing population shift. “The mom of today is represented by more diversity than ever, and is also faced with a wider variety of foodservice choices than ever before. Despite this, healthy choices, value, and restaurants that provide a comfortable environment for their family are all very important across every demographic.”
 


“Today’s family has moved past a one-size-fits-all demographic,” says Jenny Ferguson, C3’s director of Consumer Insights. “Family dynamics are different, and the strategic role that moms play in their families continues to grow. By understanding the landscape and changing target audience, foodservice suppliers and operators can be positioned for future success and growth.”



In order to better understand the cultural diversity and shared interests of moms with regard to the foodservice industry, Technomic and C3 have released Today’s Mom: Understanding the Foodservice Attitudes and Behaviors of Major Ethnic Groups. The report provides a detailed look at how both cultural diversity and similarities impact the restaurant choices of modern mothers. It demonstrates how important mothers are to the foodservice behaviors and attitudes of their families and examines the differences and similarities of mothers from various cultural backgrounds. Having a clear understanding of the foodservice motivations of families and the diverse food cultures they participate in will help foodservice suppliers and operators keep up with the dynamic demographic landscape of the marketplace. 



Select findings include:

  • The recession has affected the decisions made by moms, with 96 percent saying they are spending more cautiously today. Nineteen percent of moms say they are struggling to make ends meet, and 56 percent report managing their money more carefully. 
 
  • The leading priorities for moms across all demographic groups are health and value. Just under one-quarter (24 percent) of all moms view health as their primary motivation, while 22 percent say value is the primary consideration when making foodservice choices. 
 
  • Diverse attitudes and behaviors exist within Asian and Hispanic mothers based on the national origin of their family. For example, a mom whose family’s national origin is China is less likely to use fast-food restaurants than moms whose families were from most other Asian countries included in the survey.

Today’s Mom: Understanding the Foodservice Attitudes and Behaviors of Major Ethnic Groups includes: psychological profiles outlining the different foodservice motivations of moms; a comprehensive overview of mom usage at fast-food, fast-casual, and full-service restaurants; the impact the recession has had on the foodservice usage of mothers; and comprehensive appendices outlining the diverse foodservice behaviors of Asian and Hispanic mothers.