Meet moms' shopping needs

Are moms finally letting go of the perfection standard of the '80s and '90s? Then, they had to command the corner office, get dinner on the table, show up for PTA meetings (with the best ideas for the next fundraiser) and look sexy on weekend dates? According to a recent white paper from Advertising Age, the answer is yes.

"While a decade ago mothers aspired to be “Supermom,” today’s mothers aim to be pragmatic, efficient and rooted in reality. They want to be real moms," the report says. But are educated, working mothers really lowering the bar or are they just taking smarter shortcuts?

As a working mother myself, I know that our industry is making it easier to take shortcuts in the kitchen and remain empowered. My 8-year old dines on organic canned soup and a frozen organic entree at least twice a week. I feel pretty good about this--which is exactly what marketers (that includes you retailers) should be doing according to Ad Age. "Marketers need not just to communicate that the goods and services they offer are practical and convenient; they also need to make real moms feel confident and in charge," the report says. Natural manufacturers are scoring high points here. When I buy an organic convenience frozen or boxed meal, I know that my choice is a good one for the environment, farm workers and my daughter; Sure, I wish I could have cooked her dinner from scratch, but our industry is offering me a pretty good alternative.

According to Boston Consulting Group, women control about $4.3 trillion of the $5.9 trillion in U.S. consumer spending, or 73 percent of household spending. A sizeable number of this demographic is mothers--many of whom are working mothers looking for smart shortcuts. Make sure that you are helping them. Walk your store and see how many easily identifiable shortcuts geared to working mothers you offer. Then determine where and how you can create more. Hint: Think cross-merchandising, smart-buying and kid friendly. You'll be helping time-starved mothers and your bottom line.

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