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In the Online Food Biz, Coupons and Recipes are Tops with Moms

I grew up with this box on my kitchen counter. Inside were index cards with recipes, some handwritten, some clipped from magazines. It was the go-to box when we were bored with meals or looking for a special treat for a party and it contained around fifty recipes.

Today, my recipe box contains fifty thousand recipes and counting. They’re all searchable by ingredient or by category. They can be printed, saved, grouped, shared and diced up to create a shopping list. Oh thank you, world wide web.

According to Clicks & Cravings: The Impact of Social Technology on Food Culture, a new study from The Hartman Group and MSLGROUP Americas, “59% 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.”

Recipe use in general is up from 37% of households in 2005 to 42% in 2011. Some of that is due to farm fresh ingredient trends, interest in healthier alternatives, and of course, the ease of access thanks to the internet.

The study also found that moms with kids under 13 are more willing to follow food brands on Facebook than non-mons and if they’re millennial moms then it jumps up from 35% to 44%.

Steve Bryant, Director of Food & Beverage, MSLGROUP Americas says,

“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.”

As much as moms like connecting with brands and finding recipes online, they’re not interested in buying groceries that way. 54% of the moms surveyed said they were unlikely to buy grocery items online. 13% said it was extremely unlikely. What would entice them to buy? Free shipping and better prices.

And remember the days when you turned to mom for advice and recipes? Those days are gone. Nearly half the women surveyed said they rely on online reviews to find new recipes, restaurants and products. 23% said they’ve posted their own reviews as well.

The study also bears out what we already know, that people tend to leave reviews when they are either overly annoyed or overly overjoyed by a product or experience. So it’s extremely important that brands deal with negative comments quickly and offer the “wow factor” were possible to encourage positive vibes.

Though the Clicks and Cravings report revolves around food, there’s plenty of helpful info here for anyone marketing to moms. They’ve even put together a handy-dandy slideshow to illustrate their results. Check it out here, it’s free.

Now, what’s for dinner?