STUDY: RECIPES ARE KEY TO MARKETING FOODS & BEVERAGES TO MOM ONLINE

MSLGROUP Americas has partnered with the Hartman Group on a reseach study, Clicks & Cravings: Social Media & Mom

SEATTLE, WA, 14 August 2012 - American moms are hungrier than ever for digital and online recipes, according to a recent study called Clicks & Cravings: Social Media & Mom. For example, 59 percent of online moms said they had searched for recipes or food preparation tips on the web or via social media while preparing a meal in the last thirty days. 

For food and beverage brands, that translates to major product awareness and trial opportunities, especially since moms are some of the most engaged users of social media. On average, moms - not just active users - spend an average of 18.4 hours per month social networking online, according to the study.

The proprietary study was jointly developed and conducted by consumer research firm The Hartman Group and MSLGROUP Americas. It is the second wave of the broader, landmark study, Clicks & Cravings: The Impact of Social Technology on Food Culture.

Meals and Deals

Moms continue to be most responsible for their family's shopping (87 percent) and cooking (84 percent). 

"Moms are motivated by meeting family needs, and social media is serving as a way for moms to crowdsource that vital information," said Steve Bryant, Director of Food & Beverage, MSLGROUP Americas. 

Moms once paged through food and women's magazines as their top sources for food information. Now, moms favor online sources. Almost half are more engaged online and one-third of moms are equally engaged online and in print. 

Brand managers take note: Moms are more willing to communicate with brands via Facebook than women with no children (35 percent vs. 27 percent). Millennial Moms are even more game (44 percent).

"Why this openness? The number-one reason a mom will 'like' a food or beverage page on Facebook is to receive discounts or coupons," explained Bryant. "Don't misinterpret all of those 'likes' as love. You have to work for the love, and recipes emerged as the way brands can boost the intimacy-factor in social media engagement with consumers. 

"Moms also said they want authenticity and transparency from brands. Deals won't do that for a brand," Bryant added.

The opportunity for recipes appears ripe.  A recently released NPD recipe usage report, Recipes Are Cooking, found recipe use once a week or more increased from 37 percent of households in 2005 to 42 percent in 2011.

"Developing and promoting on-trend recipes for our clients through our Culinary and Nutrition Center is in fact one of the ways we've helped food & beverage brands succeed in the digital environment." 

Ratings and Reviews

Like many American consumers, moms prefer to "crowdsource" food info and recipes rather than rely on their own moms. During the pre- and post-shop experience, they read and contribute to online review resources regularly: 42 percent read reviews from other users on sites such as Amazon and Yelp and 23 percent contribute reviews themselves. 

"With 29 million moms visiting social network sites monthly, their ratings and reviews can really boost or bust a product's reputation," advised Caryn Carmer, Deputy Director of Food & Beverage, MSLGROUP Americas. "This elevates the importance of listening and quickly responding in social media channels."

"We also saw that strongly positive or negative impressions are the ones that most likely prompt review writing, meaning that food and beverage marketers should aim beyond steady satisfaction to deliver more 'wow' experiences that excite reviewers."

The full study also covers other aspects of moms' evolving food culture, including:
•    Media and online activities
•    Social networking and social media activity
•    Food/beverage attitudes, preferences, behaviors and knowledge
•    Online and mobile technology usage and knowledge 
•    Use of mobile and socially-enabled shopping for food and beverages

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About the Report

"Clicks & Cravings: Social Media & Mom" is an in-depth qualitative and quantitative study fielded December 2011 in the U.S. marketplace. Qualitative ethnographies were fielded in 2 major U.S. markets and more than 1,600 U.S. adult consumers, including over 400 females with kids younger than 13, participated in the online survey. In addition to providing insights into social media use among moms, the report provides strategic recommendations on how companies can leverage social media to build meaningful and profitable relationships with female consumers who have children.

About MSLGROUP Americas: Food & Beverage 

A category leader, the Food & Beverage team of MSLGROUP Americas is devoted to creating economic value for the nation's food and beverage industry. It houses MSLGROUP America's Culinary & Nutrition Center and operates offices throughout the Americas representing leading food and beverage brands.