Seeking Alpha

Dissecting the grocery store habits of moms

  • A study by location analytics firm Placed gives some insight into the grocery store shopping behavior and spending decisions of a key customer segment - the army of mothers that can make-or-break consumer brands.
  • Mothers were found to be 41% less likely to visit specialty grocery store Whole Foods Market (WFM) as the group opted for chains such as Kroger (KR), Aldi, Food Lion (DEG), and Hy-Vee. The implication could be strong for brands looking to sell directly to moms.
  • The data also revealed that mothers shopping at Kroger and Safeway (SWY) preferred the websites of the grocers, while moms pushing carts down the aisle at Publix (PUSH) were more likely to scan barcodes and QR codes.
  • The dollar store group (DG, FDO, DLTR) was also a much larger focus by moms than the national average for consumers.
  • Full report from Placed.
Comments (7)
  • Not surprising. WFM isn't worried. I never see a mom with kids hanging off her cart at Whole Foods. Mostly singles, younger, or older parents with a grownup kid or two. Mom's with small kids tend to go to the cheap places to shop, thus Publix, Walmart, etc.
    8 Jan, 07:55 PM Reply Like
  • Agree with fredj, and the fact that a big part of the customer base is younger professionals and older, relatively well off folks equates to higher margins for Whole Foods Market. If you look at the parking lots of whole foods stores, you realize the major demographic targeted - not many minivans but a lot of upscale cars, priuses, etc. While at surface level Whole Foods competes with the Krogers and Wal-Marts of the world, they are targeting distinct segments...
    9 Jan, 11:40 AM Reply Like
  • @Dorkyprokydude & fredj

     

    You guys obviously don't shop at the WFM in the Houston area. All are in good areas, the parking lot is filled with Lexus ES, LS, etc; however, also Honda minivans and other such large SUVs. Difference is they're never old... always within the last couple years. Also, they have little miniature shopping carts for kids. My 2 kids (6 and 3) love pushing them.

     

    Bottom line, I see plenty of "Mom's with small kids.." and their Range Rovers or Honda Odyssey's parked next to the Tesla and even a Fisker.
    9 Jan, 03:11 PM Reply Like
  • Great point cptcrusty1, I agree. I was not implying that no people with kids go to WFM but rather that the major target is affluent people. Apologies for not articulating this well. Thanks for the clarification, good post.
    9 Jan, 03:57 PM Reply Like
  • A couple takeaways about Whole Foods in Chicago is the 1) quality and choice of the food and salad bars--strong repeat business--and 2) the fresh fish selection and the promotion of it. You can see the seafood and fresh fish strategy big time in suburban chicago with the fish dept preparing a lot of fish dishes to customers.
    14 Jan, 12:37 PM Reply Like
  • Why not cobrand the dollar stores DS with Chain C or a "Whole Food" WF

     

    Model Experiment or try:

     

    A neat and well stocked DS next to WF

     

    A DS imbedded in a WF like Starbucks

     

    A DS cobrand end to a MCD... Or Burger King

     

    One interesting statistic, the average family with 150-200k income lives week to to week with substantial debt.

     

    I think DLTR is experimenting now and leads the DS groups, hoping for a good qtr report in Feb, I am long and hearing economic footsteps so to speak....
    15 Jan, 12:12 PM Reply Like
  • Maybe inferred by my last comment but I believe the DS mentality can coexist in the same space, I just bought 80 high quality tea bags for a buck at DLTR then bought the $10 bottle of Cab Sav at WF Instead of the $ 8 end cap, for for a young mommy and two babies $2 buys more pampers at Kroger
    15 Jan, 12:21 PM Reply Like
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