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Mom’s the word

Meet the newest supermarket employees: mommy bloggers

As social media North Americans’ relationship with food, retailers are scrambling for effective ways to meet consumers on their own turf. For some, it means enlisting the queens of the Internet: mommy bloggers.

These web-savvy mothers, who diarize the details of their everyday life on their websites, have rapt audiences.

Dooce.com draws an estimated four million page views per month. The blog’s extensive reach landed its creator, Heather Armstrong, on Forbes’ list of the 30 Most Influential Women in Media.

The majority of visitors to mommy blogs are women in the highly sought after 25-to 34-year-old demographic. No surprise, then, that grocery chains such as ShopRite are working hard to connect with mommy bloggers (and the many mommies who follow them).

The New Jersey-based company has recruited 15 women to write for its blog, Potluck. The bloggers, described as “at-home cooks who are hungry to enhance their cooking skills,” review products and share recipes–all featuring ShopRite brands.

The retailer may be onto something. According to a recent study, digital media is gradually replacing cookbooks as the go-to source for food info.

The study, by research firm Hartman Group and marketing agency Publicis, found almost half of adults who use the Internet learn about food through social networking sites and 40 per cent plan meals with the help of websites, apps or blogs.

Oddly, the strategy of using mommy blogs hasn’t caught on with Canadian grocers. Mitch Joel, president of Twist Image, a Montreal – based online marketing agency, says this may be because mommy bloggers are an “intimidating segment… When [retailers] do it right, amazing things happen and when you try to stumble through it, you’re not so sure how to do it, you get murdered,” says Joel.

He adds that mommy bloggers are not the answer to every company’s needs. “They’re one in a toolbox of many, many tools and opportunities to engage and connect,” Joel says.

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