NEW YORK: A new generation of American mothers is turning to the internet and social media as part of their regular menu planning and food shopping, a new report has found.

Moms as Food Shoppers, from Packaged Facts, the research firm, looked at the behaviour of mothers before they went into the grocery store as well as analysing their actions in-store.

It found that, with a recession-led resurgence in cooking and eating at home, mothers are always on the lookout for inspiration for meal ideas. In addition, they are significantly more likely to use social media to help plan their shopping trip, with 20% electing to consult blogs for meal planning information, compared to 11% of general food shoppers.

The search for ideas carries on after mothers have left home, the study indicated, as they are 33% more likely to choose grocery stores offering cooking classes or cooking videos and 23% more likely to pick stores providing meal planner and recipe information.

As well as planning menus, moms were found to be value-conscious: the pre-shopping routine will also often include going online to collect coupons. Mothers are 43% more likely to do this than food shoppers as a whole.

Among coupon users, the research said that mothers are 47% more likely to use a store coupon while 27% are more likely to use a manufacturer coupon they got online. 

A majority of mothers, 56%, were alone on their most recent food shopping trip, which may point to a lessening of the impact of children's "pester power".

There are several broader societal trends that will also affect the grocery sector in the future, said Packaged Facts, including an increase in the number of Hispanic mothers with kids at home, a group that typically spends more on fresh fruits and vegetables, and less on frozen, canned and packaged foods.

Data sourced from MediaPost; additional content by Warc staff