Any knowledgeable marketer (or married man) will know that mothers are the ones who wear the pants in the household when it comes to grocery shopping, but do we really know how much spending power they actually hold?

According to Datamonitor’s latest report ‘Marketing to Australian mums’, mothers control $132billion in household spending annually, but their influence does not simply end there.

According to Katrina Diamonon, consumer analyst at Datamonitor, mothers’ indirect spending power is often overlooked.

“Its important to remember that, in addition to their immense purchasing power, mums heavily influence the shopping decisions of others, including their family, friends, and fellow consumers through word-of-mouth and online communities.”

Despite having control of the majority of household purchases, mothers are increasingly concerned with getting value for their money, and are becoming cynical of whether their purchases are really worth forking out the dollars for.

This has resulted in a growing receptiveness towards private label products, with 57% of Aussie mum’s buying more private labels when grocery shopping to save money. Compared to the national average of 47%, mothers are becoming a big driver in the penetration of non-branded products in everyday households.

“Growing adoption of private label is not only attributed to their lower prices, but also improving quality. Most mums believe that branded products are more expensive than private labels simply because of advertising spend. They know they’re not sacrificing quality,” says Diamonon.

Unfortunately, mothers’ pursuit of low prices is conflicting with their desire to be responsible consumers, and according to the study, the final price ringing on cash registers still matters more. While mothers acknowledge the benefits of organic and locally produced grocery products, many are deterred by their higher prices. Only 26% of mums believe organic food is worth paying extra for, while almost 47% feel finding a lower priced item was more important.

“Evidently, the perceived benefits associated with these products do not add sufficient value to justify paying more,” Diamonon says.

“Ultimately, it is about understanding comparable trade-offs from the perspective of mums. While they may be willing to sacrifice certain products or brands, they are not willing to forego experiences and personal connections. Mums ultimately want to improve their quality of life, and products that can offer this will be rewarded,” concludes Diamonon.

Belle Kwan
BY Belle Kwan ON 16 September 2011
Assistant editor, Marketing magazine & marketingmag.com.au
A marketer's dream who believes everything she sees on TV.
Advertising is not evil, it is an artform and a science.