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Black Consumers - Feeding Their Kids - US - October 2016

"Black parents, especially moms, are the primary decision makers and influencers when it comes to feeding their kids. Food is love and while she is in control when raising her kids, she is soft at heart and likes to give in to what her children want to eat…within reason. Her kids are vocal about what they want and sometimes she will allow her kids to eat their favorites, even if she’s not totally comfortable with their choices or feels they lack nutritional value. Faced with limited resources, especially time with the kids at the dinner table, she is willing to compromise for convenience and practicality rather than change up her recipe repertoire unless it’s easy to do so."

Toya Mitchell, Multicultural Research Analyst

This report looks ta the following areas:

  • Black parents are relying mostly on themselves to feed the kids
  • School plays an important role in feeding the kids a nutritious lunch
  • Environmental and behavioral factors impact parents' ability to marry convenience with expectations
  • Younger Black parents are more food-involved
  • Black parents struggle between giving in to kids' wants vs providing for needs
  • Black parents experience conflict between perception vs reality
  • Do as I say, not as I do

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

          • The issues
            • Black parents are relying mostly on themselves to feed the kids
              • Figure 1: Who is involved in feeding the kids, July 2016
            • School plays an important role in feeding the kids a nutritious lunch
              • Figure 2: Participation in the school lunch program, by ethnicity, 2010-11 school year
            • Environmental and behavioral factors impact parents’ ability to marry convenience with expectations
              • Figure 3: Characteristics of urban tracts by food desert status, by race, 1990, 2000, and 2005-09
            • Younger Black parents are more food-involved
              • Figure 4: Black consumers’ attitudes toward feeding their kids, July 2016
            • Black parents struggle between giving in to kids’ wants vs providing for needs
              • Figure 5: Black parents’ perceptions of specific foods, nutritious vs kids love, July 2016
            • Black parents experience conflict between perception vs reality
              • Do as I say, not as I do
                • Figure 6: Attitudes and opinions about food, Black moms vs all moms, index to all moms, February 2015 - March 2016
              • The opportunities
                • Showcase updated healthy versions of her favorite recipes
                  • Figure 7: Healthy Soul Food Cooking, 2007
                • Leverage trusted sources to push nutritional balance vs perfection
                  • Expand audience reach potential by exposing Black children to healthier food choices
                    • What it means
                    • The Market – What You Need to Know

                      • Majority of Black families’ food budget spent at home
                        • Environmental and behavioral factors impact what and when children eat
                          • Black children face adverse health issues stemming from food consumption
                          • Black Families with Children – By the Numbers

                            • Declining birth rate has negligible impact on Black households
                              • Figure 8: Black children under 18 years old and share of total US children, 2008-15
                              • Figure 9: Living arrangements of children under 18 years old, by race/Hispanic origin, 2015
                            • Median household income for Black families with children about 60% of the average
                              • Figure 10: Presence of children under 18 years old, median household income in households with children, by race/Hispanic origin of householder, 2015
                          • Market Perspective

                            • Food deserts are prevalent in predominately Black neighborhoods
                              • Figure 11: US map of households that live in a food desert, 2009
                              • Figure 12: Characteristics of urban tracts by food desert status, by race, 1990, 2000, and 2005-09
                            • Blacks are more susceptible to food allergies and intolerances
                              • Figure 13: Food allergies reported in the past 12 months for children under age 18 years, by race/ethnicity, 2014
                            • Black children have a greater susceptibility to obesity
                              • Figure 14: Obesity among children and adolescents aged 2–19 years, by age and race/Hispanic origin, 2011-14
                            • Black families are less likely to eat together
                              • Figure 15: Parent had breakfast/dinner with child every day during typical week last month, 2011
                          • Market Factors

                            • 42% of Black children are recipients of free or reduced school lunches
                              • Figure 16: Trends in prevalence rates of food insecurity, by total and by race/Hispanic origin, 1995-2015
                              • Figure 17: Participation in the National School Lunch Program, by race/Hispanic origin, 2010–11 school year
                              • Figure 18: Participation in the National School Lunch Program, 2008-15 
                            • Black households spend a greater percentage of income on food at home
                              • Figure 19: Annual expenditures shares – Food, by food at home and away from home, 2015
                              • Figure 20: Annual expenditure shares – Food at home, by food categories, 2015
                              • Figure 21: Annual expenditures shares – Food, by food at home and away from home, 2014-15
                          • Key Strategies – What You Need to Know

                            • Black children drive meal choice, but moms ultimately decide
                              • Black parents will heed advice from authority figures
                                • Grocery shopping is as much of the feeding process as meal prep
                                • What’s Working?

                                  • Black parents feel knowledgeable about food nutrition
                                    • Government and private company programs combating environmental factors see change
                                    • What’s Struggling?

                                      • Limited family time leads to kids taking control of meals
                                        • School lunch programs mainly help one of three food security groups
                                        • What’s Next?

                                          • Start-up companies creating meal services for schools
                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                            • Black parents struggle between serving convenient vs healthy food
                                              • Black parents are comfortable with what their kids eat at school
                                                • Everyone in the household eats the same meal, no special orders
                                                  • Food-Involved parents lean on education vs emotion in feeding kids
                                                  • Feeding Kids Attitudinal Segments

                                                      • Figure 22: Black consumers and feeding their kids segments, July 2016
                                                    • Food-Involved Parents demonstrate strongest concern
                                                      • Figure 23: Profile of Food-Involved Black parents, July 2016
                                                    • Authoritative Parents use common sense and involve the kids
                                                      • Figure 24: Profile of Authoritative Black parents, July 2016
                                                    • Consultative Parents give greater consideration to kids’ desires
                                                      • Figure 25: Profile of Consultative Black parents, July 2016
                                                    • Compliant Parents concede control to their kids
                                                      • Figure 26: Profile of Compliant Black parents, July 2016
                                                  • Decision Making in Feeding the Children

                                                      • Black parents take the lead in feeding their children
                                                        • Figure 27: Who is involved in feeding the kids, July 2016
                                                      • Mom is her most-valued parenting source, except when feeding the kids
                                                        • Figure 28: Who is involved in feeding the kids – Among Black moms, July 2016
                                                      • Married couples rely on each other, single moms rely on themselves
                                                        • Figure 29: Who is involved in feeding the kids, by marital status, July 2016
                                                      • Parents allow older children greater eating flexibility
                                                        • Figure 30: Who is involved in feeding the kids, by age of children, July 2016
                                                    • Who Influences Feeding the Kids

                                                        • Parents are in control, but their children drive meal choices
                                                          • Figure 31: Influencers for what Black parents feed their kids, July 2016
                                                        • Dads look to outside sources for meal inspiration
                                                          • Figure 32: Influencers for what Black parents feed their kids, by gender, July 2016
                                                        • Upper income households give heed to authority figures
                                                          • Figure 33: Influencers for what Black parents feed their kids, by household income, July 2016
                                                        • As children age, their influence on what they eat increases
                                                          • Figure 34: Influencers for what Black parents feed their kids, by age of children, July 2016
                                                      • Feeding the Kids Dynamic

                                                          • Kids will ask for their favorites, and sometimes dictate what the entire family eats
                                                            • Figure 35: Dynamic around Black parents feeding their kids, July 2016
                                                          • Income across strata impacts kids’ food choices and options
                                                            • Figure 36: Dynamic around Black parents feeding their kids, by household income, July 2016
                                                          • What kids eat at school is impacted by age and income
                                                            • Figure 37: Children take their lunch to school, by work status, education, household income, age of children, 2016
                                                        • Perceptions of Types of Foods

                                                            • Processed food rules…but only among kids
                                                              • Figure 38: Black parents’ perceptions of specific foods, July 2016
                                                            • Black moms prefer to cook from scratch due to tradition
                                                              • Frozen food is a taboo in Black households
                                                                • Figure 39: Frozen snack purchase – Any eaten in household, by all vs Black consumers, January 2016
                                                              • Kids love processed, but not nutritious food
                                                                • Figure 40: Black parents’ perceptions of specific foods, nutritious vs kids love, July 2016
                                                              • Parents are reasonably comfortable feeding kids their favorites
                                                                • Figure 41: Black parents’ perceptions of specific foods, feels comfortable serving vs kids love, July 2016
                                                              • Parents are willing to forgo their food concerns for convenience
                                                                • Figure 42: Perceptions of types of foods, detail by feel comfortable serving and nutritious, July 2016
                                                              • Black moms want their kids to be better than she is
                                                                • Figure 43: Attitudes and opinions about food, Black moms vs all moms, index to all moms, February 2015 - March 2016
                                                            • Main Concerns for Feeding Their Kids

                                                                • Consumption of unhealthy ingredients most concerning
                                                                  • Figure 44: Main concerns of Black parents for feeding kids, July 2016
                                                                • Potential adverse reactions less concerning, even with higher incidence of ailments
                                                                  • Authoritative parents show the greatest concern for their children’s food
                                                                    • Figure 45: Main concerns for feeding kids – Nets, by feeding kids attitudinal segments, July 2016
                                                                • Attitudes toward Feeding Kids

                                                                    • Black parents struggle between instilling good eating habits and giving in to kids’ wants
                                                                      • Figure 46: Attitudes toward feeding kids – Any agree, July 2016
                                                                    • Gender differences demonstrated in pleasing vs giving in to kids’ wants
                                                                      • Figure 47: Attitudes toward feeding kids – Indifferent parents, by gender, July 2016
                                                                    • Single parents are not as knowledgeable about food, but they are concerned how their parenting skills are judged
                                                                      • Figure 48: Attitudes toward feeding kids – Vocal/picky kids, Ambivalent parents, by marital status, July 2016
                                                                    • More education impacts involvement and level of permission
                                                                      • Figure 49: Attitudes toward feeding kids – Informed, health-concerned parents, by education, July 2016
                                                                    • Parents of younger children have limited involvement and cave into their kids’ narrow palates
                                                                      • Figure 50: Attitudes toward feeding kids –Informed, health-concerned parents and vocal, picky kids, by age of children, July 2016
                                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                    • Data sources
                                                                      • Consumer survey data
                                                                        • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                          • Abbreviations
                                                                            • Terms

                                                                            Black Consumers - Feeding Their Kids - US - October 2016

                                                                            US $3,995.00 (Excl.Tax)