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The reality of how mothers shop


Saatchi & Saatchi have teamed up with Mumsnet to survey how mothers shop and if they are correctly represented by brands.

Mumsnet is a website set up in early 2000 and is the UKs biggest network for parents, generating over 60 million page views and around 10 million visits per month. The aim of Mumsnet is to make parents lives easier and let their readers swap knowledge, advice and support each other.

The survey showed that only 19% of mothers in the UK believe they are accurately portrayed in advertising and find it relatable. This statistic comes about despite the industry spending 1.9 billion annually attempting to target mothers.

94% of married mums do the grocery shop however are put of by supermarkets that neglect the father’s role within the family and portray dads as side show jokers. Joint family decisions are being made and retailers need to understand this.

Unsurprisingly the survey showed that mothers put their children first with 64% of mums choosing to purchase cheaper products and spending the money they save on getting better quality products for their children. This is more common amongst mothers aged under 35 which compliments the growing popularity of discount supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl. According to Mumsnet, nine out of ten mums have also said they would choose a prize with family over a prize with friends, for example day trips and holidays.

Many retailers are missing a trick by not enhancing their shopping environment to make it more fun and engaging for mothers and children. Ofcom highlighted the lifestyle trends in the UK as rising incomes, longer working hours and more working mothers. This means any time spend with their children is cherished and mundane tasks such as food shopping is instead an outing with their loved ones. 53% of mothers don’t mind having their children with them while they shop and 60% of mothers say the best fun they have is with their children.

The increase of working hours and working mothers has also resulted in brands trying to push convenient food options especially for lunch and breakfasts with the majority of lunch boxes being filled with food in the morning before school. The Saatchi & Saatchi partnership with Mumsnet survey also showed that 50% of mothers agree that what they buy is influenced by what their children want. This proves that how advertisers aim at children has such a strong link with how mothers shop. Children watch a significant amount of television meaning their intake of television adverts is high and difficult to monitor.

9% of mothers have said they have the perfect mum which banishes the retail myth that mothers are super disciplined and obsess over ingredients lists, they do give it the power of pestering but not do the live off convenient frozen foods.

Retailers may want to consider moving away from stereotypes and applying a more tailored approach to parent shoppers.

Published on Tuesday 07 October by Editorial Assistant

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