Taste Trumps Health When Mom Makes Meals

Nutrition still important, but feeding family comes first

TORONTO, March 28, 2012 – When it comes to meal time, moms have one clear goal: make sure the family is fed. Everything else is secondary for the woman who runs the household. According to a recent study by leading market research company The NPD Group entitled “What’s On The Minds Of Moms”, 76 per cent of Canadian moms feel that taste is more important than health when getting a meal on the table, a mentality that the total population shares.

Though nutrition may sometimes take a backseat, it is certainly not overlooked. Seventy-two per cent of moms agree that meals should be more nutritious, but there are no health benefits if the family will not eat. When compared to convenience, however, nutrition does take precedence, with 69 per cent of moms choosing a healthy meal over a fast one.

“The modern mom has so much on the go that meal time needs to be quick and easy,” says Joel Gregoire, Food & Beverage industry analyst, The NPD Group. “A nutritious meal that no one will eat is not an option, no matter how good her intentions are, so finding a happy medium is what she’s striving for.”

In order to cook a well-balanced and tasty meal on a tight timeline, many moms are planning ahead. Women plan and prepare nearly 80 per cent of meals eaten at home, and companies will benefit most if they become part of this plan, according to the NPD Moms report. In order to be associated with meal preparation, successful brands will need to offer products that complement the items already found in the fridge and pantry, says Gregoire.

Time constraints also play a role in the appeal of familiarity. Though cooking shows, websites and step-by-step books provide plenty of instruction, moms make dinner without using a recipe more than 80 per cent of the time. Further, when they do use a recipe, it is from memory nearly half of the time.

“Women learn very quickly what their families enjoy and those meals with broad appeal will always be the go-to dishes,” continued Gregoire. “Finding a place in mom’s mental cookbook is the best way for brands to integrate new products into a family’s mealtime rotation.”

Similar rules apply to snacks, but kids have some more sway in this category. Though parents are making the final call, children are choosing what they eat between meals. Again, the balance of nutrition and taste is vital for everyone’s satisfaction and moms would prefer not to have to choose between the two.

The market for portable snacks is large and still growing, but moms, pragmatic about health, are more focused on simple achievements. New moms in particular are 18 per cent more likely to serve fruit as a snack in the morning and afternoon, and 26 per cent more likely to do so in the evening. Yogurt is also a tried-and-true snack for new moms, who prefer to grab something they know is good for their kids without having to look at the fine print. By comparison, items that boast omega 3 vitamins or increased proteins, for example, are not priority considerations.

Press Contact

Kim McLynn


The NPD Group, Inc.
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Port Washington, NY 11050

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