Millennial Moms Shop for Their Kids' Lunch Boxes Differently
Aug 31

Millennial Moms Shop for Their Kids' Lunch Boxes Differently

Unsurprisingly, millennial moms are packing their kids’ lunch boxes differently. 75 percent of these young mothers believe that the lunches they make for their kids are healthier than the ones they ate in the school cafeteria, according to a new survey by Influenster.  

Influenster, a site comprised of more than 1.5 million members who discuss and review consumer goods, recently polled 5,500 millennial mothers about their grocery-shopping habits with the new school year in mind.

Among the top products millennial moms view as healthy on Influenster are Kraft Mozzarella String Cheese, Planters Honey Roasted Peanuts and SkinnyPop Popcorn. Other classic brands like Pepperidge Farm and Ocean Spray also rounded out the list.

Wait, millennials still buy these “old” brands? As a young millennial, I am all too aware of the stereotypes surrounding our generation.

Sure, we enjoy our green juice and cult-like fitness class subscriptions. But we also enjoy nostalgia just as much as any other generation. Fun fact: we want to share with our kids what made our childhoods so great, just like our parents did with us.

That’s why it’s not surprising that millennial moms are still gravitating towards these brands. Nostalgia and trust still weigh heavy in the decision-making of millennial moms along with the generation’s tendency to be early-adopters.

Ensuring their children’s lunch boxes are filled with healthy and nutritious options is a top priority for millennial moms, with 9 out of 10 preparing healthy lunches for their kids. The nutritional value (88 percent) of the food they buy for their kids’ lunches outweighs price (65 percent) and convenience (52 percent) when making decisions at the supermarket.

There’s almost no excuse not to prioritize nutrition when we are constantly bombarded with information that threatens what may happen if we choose otherwise. The pressures of social media like the “Instagram effect” also contribute to this need to “keep up with the Joneses” in terms of how we choose to feed ourselves and our families.

Only eight percent of moms consider including gluten-free foods in lunch boxes to be a top priority, despite the popularity of the diet in recent years.

This isn’t very surprising: the hype around the diet recently reached its peak and is now instead used as more of a guideline by many who aren’t affected by Celiac disease. Everyone -- especially female millennials -- knows cutting back on gluten-heavy foods like bread is a good idea when we want to maintain a trim waistline. But we also know that when it comes to our kids (or in my case, future kids), we want to ensure they have a well-rounded diet that features all corners of the food pyramid.

Despite almost always having the Internet at their fingertips, 88 percent of millennial moms still prefer to shop in a supermarket. Only 7 percent shop for their groceries online. Again, here’s nostalgia creeping in again. Who doesn’t want to give their child the experience that they had of sitting in the shopping cart and picking out their favorite foods with their mom?

However, the percentage of those choosing to shop for groceries online has increased. Online grocery allows us busy millennials to automate regular purchases, and I expect that more will choose to do so in the future. However, we’ll keep going to the store to keep our pantries diverse and our kids happy.  

Word-of-mouth is still what millennial moms rely on most when making buying decisions, with almost 80 percent of surveyed moms reporting its influence. Social media of course takes word-of-mouth to a new meaning.

According to a study by Weber Shandwick and KRC Research, millennial moms spend nearly 17.4 hours a week with their social media networks (four hours more than the average mom).

These moms also place heavy value on online reviews (59 percent) and social media specifically (57 percent).

We know every brand is now vying for our attention, and our best-known method to sort through the noise to listen to our friends instead.

As more millennial moms send their children off to school, brands will have to cater their conversations to meet these changing priorities in parenting.