Mom Knows Best: Millennial Mom Snack Trends Set the Table for Sales

Posted in Millennials on November 27, 2017

thiago-cerqueira-191866.jpgMillennial mania is typically associated with the trend-setting youth market, but now millennial moms, all grown-up and responsible, are taking a star turn on the snacking scene. Having given birth to a feast of foodservice trends, from the better-for-you, clean label and farm-to-table movements to the grab-and-go craze and eclectic flavor fusions, millennials are now having kids and shaping the next generation of snackers.

One-quarter of the 80 million millennials in America are parents, and 83% of new moms belong to America’s largest demographic group.1 With $200 billion in spending power, millennial parents are poised to help raise profits if food manufacturers and marketers can understand their mindset, meet their needs and match their preferences.1 And, with millennial moms pulling the purse strings, you can bet they’re a coveted cohort.

A group this big is bound to be diverse, and millennial moms defy stereotypes. This is not your mother’s foodservice consumer, if you’re from the traditional nuclear family of generations past. According to the market research and media solutions firm Carat, approximately 67% of millennial moms surveyed are multicultural, with half of them Hispanic and the majority bilingual.1 Four in 10 are single parents who live with multi-generational extended families.1 What’s more, an estimated 50% of American children will be multicultural by the year 2020.1

Better Ask Mom About Better-for-You Millennial Snack Options

Though already tilting toward internationally inspired flavor trends as America becomes increasingly diverse, the snacking landscape may shift even further to accommodate this diverse mom demographic, which could drive a more multicultural approach to foodservice.

Better-for-you options remain a big deal as millennial moms strive to give their children snacks that are both delicious and nutritious. Having grown up with a heightened awareness of the dangers of obesity, millennial moms are gravitating to products with high nutritional value and low calories, as well as low-prep and prepackaged meal replacements that complement their busy lives.2 Bars, nuts, yogurt and chips have posted record sales, and while chips and chocolate remain the most popular snack selections, millennial moms are helping to drive the growth of wellness-oriented options.2

According to a poll conducted by the product review site Influenster, 88% of millennial mothers cite nutrition as their top priority over price and convenience when planning school lunches for their children.3 Three out of four consider the meals they pack for their kids to be more nutritious than those they received from their own mothers.3

Foodservice Marketing to Millennial Moms Is High on the Menu

Elizabeth Scherle, president and co-founder of Influenster, stressed the importance of leveraging wellness concerns as a key differentiating factor of millennial mothers. "So, when marketing to millennial moms versus older generations," she said, "brands should make sure to consider and emphasize nutritional value in messaging and product development rather than price."3

But how can foodservice operators reach millennial moms? Influenster’s survey results show that nearly 80% of participants selected word-of-mouth as the main motivator behind their purchasing decisions.3 Online and social media also figured prominently as sales catalysts.3 As Scherle explained, word-of-mouth is now amplified through digital channels. Word-of-mouth recommendations have always been important, she acknowledged, "but for today's digitally connected millennial moms, it's like word-of-mouth on steroids. Social media and reviews have given these moms the catalyst to interact, inspire and share with each other like never before. They have instant access to what's new, good and bad for their little ones."3

Need smart solutions to help ensure your foodservice operation gets the word out about product assortments designed to appeal to millennial moms? Join the conversation below and request information on how we can help customize menu innovation for this key market segment.


1 Lynn, Michelle, “Marketers: It's Time to Rethink the Millennial Mom,” AdAge, Feb. 12, 2016
2 National Vending Blog, Millennial Parents Shaping the Snack Industry, May 25, 2016
3 Gianatasio, David, “Infographic: How Millennial Moms Shop to Fill Their Kids’ Lunch Boxes,” Adweek, Aug. 24, 2015

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