It's a common childhood experience, shuffling up and down grocery store aisles with Mom. Little do consumers know, though, that those moments mold their food perceptions into adulthood. A new Sullivan Higdon & Sink (SHS) FoodThink white paper, "The Mom Influence," built on proprietary research from nearly 1,500 consumers, is designed to provide food marketers and producers a closer look at the impact moms have on consumers' purchase patterns and cooking habits.

In the ever-expanding food market, consumers are inundated with choices, and brands often struggle to stand out. Understanding the hereditary influence moms have on consumers' choices is the food marketer's first step toward cutting through the clutter.

"We buy what our mothers bought, to state it simply. FoodThink research shows the potential for brand loyalty is especially high with consumers younger than 45, and with today's moms," says Tom Bertels, SHS FoodThink leader.

Moms not only affect the shopping choices consumers make, they are also found to remain trusted sources of food-related information. Over one-third (35%) of adults confess to still calling their moms with cooking questions. And two-thirds (66%) of FoodThink respondents say they still prepare certain recipes the way their mothers did.

"We found that the mom influence didn't stop at the grocery store, it carried into consumers' kitchens too. It's not just what we buy, it's also why we buy certain types of food – like free-range eggs or whole-grain breads – and how we use them to feed ourselves and our families from quick weeknight dinners to the most elaborate of holiday meals," Bertels says.

So what's a food marketer to do? SHS FoodThink outlines the implications of the mom influence and provides key strategies to approaching consumers and harnessing the power of Mom. Download a free copy of the seven page white paper at