CHICAGO – Regardless of ethnicity, moms are the most likely members of their families to make decisions on restaurant patronage and that, despite their diverse tastes, many share similar motivations and attitudes about food, according to a new study by Technomic and C3.

Restaurants will need to respond to the continuing population shift, said Sara Monnette, Technomic director of consumer research. “The mom of today is represented by more diversity than ever, and is also faced with a wider variety of foodservice choices than ever before,” she added. “Despite this, healthy choices, value and restaurants that provide a comfortable environment for their family are all very important across every demographic.”

“Today’s family has moved past a one-size-fits-all demographic,” said Jenny Ferguson, C3 director of consumer insights. “Family dynamics are different, and the strategic role that moms play in their families continues to grow. By understanding the landscape and changing target audience, foodservice suppliers and operators can be positioned for future success and growth.”

Technomic and C3 have recently released Today’s Mom: Understanding the Foodservice Attitudes and Behaviors of Major Ethnic Groups. The study provides a detailed look at how both cultural diversity and similarities impact the restaurant choices of modern mothers.

Findings include:

  • The recession has affected the decisions made by moms, with 96 percent saying they are spending more cautiously today. Nineteen percent of moms say they are struggling to make ends meet, and 56 percent report managing their money more carefully.
  • The leading priorities for moms throughout all demographic groups are health and value. Twenty-four percent of all moms view health as their primary motivation, while 22 percent say value is the primary consideration when making foodservice choices.
  • Diverse attitudes and behaviors exist within Asian and Hispanic mothers based on the national origin of their family. A mom whose family’s national origin is China is less likely to use fast-food restaurants than moms whose families were from most other Asian countries included in the survey.