From doing lots of research with busy, harried moms, we have found that they are battling the front lines every day right in their own kitchens. We think it is critical to be on the front lines with moms observing these battles, and always keeping them front and center when innovating for solutions to help them.
Her battles are complicated and include many routine challenges and many compromised solutions:
- Needing to please the whole family so she ends up dumbing down the entire meal for her pickiest eater.
- Wanting to make it healthy but needing it to be quick which makes her compromise with less healthy shortcuts.
- Wanting to try something new to break the boredom but being afraid it will be a flop so she sticks with the same boring options.
These daily battles are compounded by the fact that many find the entire task a giant, stressful burden – one that they dream of having lifted. Cooking doesn’t come easy to many women and yet they are forced into being chefs every single day. Their solutions for getting dinner on the table are as varied as their emotions.
A stand out moment in research came when I was interviewing a 25 year old mom with 5 kids – some her own and others older step children. Along on the interview with me was a corporate chef from my client’s team. In asking her about making dinner, she expressed all those challenges that we hear from moms- quick, crowd-pleasing, balanced with protein and veggies, etc.
Her solution to meet these challenges though was one that made the chef on the interview almost get up and run out! This mom served boxed macaroni and cheese to which she added a can of tuna and cut up tomatoes to. In her mind this was a very good solution to her dinnertime dilemmas. It was balanced with protein (tuna) and veggies (tomato’s), it was quick (under 20 minutes) and it was crowd-pleasing since every age group would eat it. In our minds though it was a reality check that despite all that great healthy products, and all the articles, recipes, and blogs about on how to get a healthy, nutritious dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less, etc. this is what a lot of women end up with as a family meal to address her challenges. Many times it isn’t aspirational but it gets the job done and that at the end of the day is all most moms are hoping to achieve.
As marketers and innovators it is important to understand the realities of how woman face their daily dinner challenges. We need to always be out there on the front lines with harried moms witnessing first hand how they get dinner on the table. The more we intimately understand her true struggles on the front line, the more we can help her. So don’t be afraid to get out there on the front lines…you never know where it will lead and how you can help women face their dinnertime challenges!