Identifying With a Group Can Offer Guidance to Moms in Making Healthy Choices

PITTSBURGH - September 9, 2008 - Recognizing that all moms are not created equal, recently released research from Rutgers University reveals new insights into how moms differ in making food decisions that affect the entire family's nutrition. It reports that moms form four distinct groups according to their food-related attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors, and suggests that by recognizing how they fit within these four profiles, they'll be better able to make improved food choices.

Published in the August issue of Nutrition Research and commissioned by the Canned Food Alliance (CFA), the study is the first of its kind to segment the influences on mothers' food choices and link these characteristics to dietary intake patterns to help understand what causes moms to pick the foods they do. 

"This study builds on additional Rutgers University research that found mothers don't always feel confident that they can prepare nutritious meals quickly and aren't convinced that healthy meals and convenience can coexist," said Carol Byrd-Bredbenner, Ph.D., RD, FADA, lead researcher, Nutritional Sciences Department, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. "The results of this study indicate that different clusters of moms choose foods for different reasons.  And, because these defined clusters predict dietary quality, by identifying with one of the four groups, moms can discover new ways to improve their own nutritional profile and that of their families."

The segmentation study, conducted among moms of young children (n=201) across New Jersey - a diversely populated state that reflects national demographics - found mom formed the following four mom groups:

"Busy Izzy"

- These Working, Convenience-Driven Moms are most interested in learning how to prepare meals quickly. Their food choices tend to be based on convenience and time available.

"Harried Harriet"

- These Time-Conscious, Stressed, Emotional Eaters are typical emotional eaters and when times get stressful, they're satisfied with what's convenient.

"Sunny Susan"

- These Happy, Healthy, Foodie Moms enjoy eating a variety of new and different foods. Foods are chosen with an eye on price and product information labels. Preparing quick meals is not a top priority for these moms.

"Stable Mable"

- These Healthy, Unbiased Moms are health-conscious, adventurous eaters who value food-related activities, but don't necessarily enjoy them. Their decisions are based more on nutrition, rather than price and convenience.

"The Canned Food Alliance commissioned this study to learn more about the challenges facing moms, who often serve as their family's nutrition gatekeeper," said Rich Tavoletti, executive director, the Canned Food Alliance. "The distinct differences across the mom profiles clearly indicate that providing meal solutions is not a 'one-size-fits-all' approach. Because of the tremendous variety of canned foods offering nutritious, convenient and economical choices from every food group, the CFA is able to offer recipe and ingredient suggestions that fit the different nutritional needs of each group of moms."

These findings become increasingly relevant since according to a 2008 USDA survey, 67 percent of primary eating occurs in the home ; and a Euromonitor International survey indicated that at-home food consumption will go up seven percent a year due to concerns about the current state of the economy . Therefore, it becomes imperative to investigate why moms serve the food they do, especially when it comes to providing nutritious meals for a growing family. 

For the complete study and hundreds of nutritious, delicious, and easy-to-prepare meals and tips for cooking with canned foods, visit

About the Canned Food Alliance

The Canned Food Alliance is a partnership of the American Iron and Steel Institute's Steel Packaging Council, the Can Manufacturers Institute, select food processors and affiliate members. The primary mission of the CFA is to drive increased consumption of canned foods by enhancing the perception of their numerous benefits.