Better Homes and Gardens magazine recently released its 2010 Food Factor survey, conducted among more than 3,600 women across the U.S. In the new survey, Better Homes and Gardens identifies 10 key trends relating to American women's decision-making process when it comes to topics such as eating at home, entertaining, food safety and organic food shopping. Compared to 2008, women are still focused on healthy eating, with a rising tendency for home-served meals to cut back on spending and concentrate on health.
Preparing meals at home.
- More than 4 out of 5 women are still preparing side dishes (82%) and main meals (81%) from scratch. Nearly two-thirds (62%) make baked goods from scratch.
- Budget-conscious women are preparing meals at home regularly (86%) and using a variety of spices to add flavor to their family's favorites (77%).
- Women 18–34 and women 35–49 are more interested in trying foods they've never eaten before than women 50+ (86% and 80% vs. 54%).
Women prefer convenience products.
- Women are using convenience products and time-saving techniques to get meals on the table; 76% use the microwave at least one weekly and nearly six in ten (57%) prepare meals ahead of time at least one a month
- Convenience produce (prepared salads, chopped fruits and vegetables, etc.) continues to make the lives of women easier with nearly three-quarters (71%) purchasing convenience produce and eight-in-ten (81%) purchasing convenient forms of fresh poultry and meats regularly.
- On average, U.S. women purchase 3.4 prepared food items in a typical shopping trip, down slightly from 3.7 in 2008.
Home Sweet Home.
- Two-thirds (66%) of women say they are eating at home more than two years ago. Women are still cost conscious and want to cut back on spending overall (81%).
- To eat at home more often, women use a variety of time-saving strategies and convenience foods. The majority (59%) cite eating leftovers more often and half (50%) are using quick and easy recipes.
- 71% of women would rather eat every meal at home
Combating rising food prices.
- The majority of women (52%) are still very concerned about the cost of food today and employ a wide variety of strategies to combat rising food prices. Most commonly, they eat out less often (64%), stock up on bargains (62%), use a shopping list (61%) and use cents-off coupons (60%).
- Virtually all women (95%) use manufacturers' coupons when they shop and on average they save almost $28 a month using them.
- Coupon usage is far more prevalent among older U.S. consumers. 40% of women 35–49 and 51% of women 50+ use coupons every time they shop, compared to 17% of women 18–34.
- The vast majority of U.S. women (89%) have purchased store brand/private label products in the past two years. The cost/value of store/private label products remains the dominant factor driving increased private label purchases (90%).
- Even once the economy bounces back, more than three-quarters (77%) of U.S. women expect to buy a combination of brand name and store brand/private label food products.
Organic/locally grown foods.
- Health (73%) and safety (66%) considerations are the primary reasons U.S. women buy organic food.
- Women are willing to pay a 27% premium for an organic product. The majority (52%) are willing to pay $3.50 for an organic version of a food normally priced at $3.00. Women are also willing to pay a 26% premium for locally grown foods.
- The main reasons for eating locally grown/produced foods include: freshness, taste, support of local/small businesses and knowing where the food came from.