Fact: Women are still the primary carers in Australia. While men and women averaged the same hours for paid and unpaid work overall, men spent twice as long as women in employment related activities and women spent twice as long as men in unpaid work (particularly domestic activities and child care).* Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Sept 2017.
Though she works inside the home, the stay-at-home mother is an economic force in her own right. A recent Field Agent mobile survey found 97% of modern housewives are their family’s primary grocery shopper and 95% their family’s primary home-essentials shopper.
Understanding stay-at-home mums gives you insight into the most significant demographic of retail spending.
This month, Field Agent surveyed 500 stay-at-home Australian mums to explore their shopping habits and retailer preferences. All survey participants are women with children presently living at-home. Furthermore, 86% of the those surveyed have children aged 6 and under. 63% are currently married and 14% are in a defacto relationship.
The Graphic Story: Modern Homemakers
1. Building out a job description
Field Agent asked stay-at-home mums what household duties are their sole or primary responsibility, that they do more of than any member of the family.
2. Grocery and Cleaning: The Key Categories
With Grocery and Household Essentials shopping accounting for the majority of primary duties of the modern homemaker, it made sense to dig deeper on the habits and preferences of these two categories.
69% of Australian families spend between $400-$800 every month on their grocery shopping.
The battle between the two major supermarkets, Coles & Woolworths, is evident with 45% choosing Woolworths and 43% choosing Coles. ALDI is yet to take a large slice of market share.
Of the 55% who said they would purchase a new product if it were on sale, just over half mentioned they would tell someone else about that product.
More shoppers (45%) are purchasing grocery product private label brands ‘often’ compared with 27% in the cleaning category.
3. Baby and Pet Supplies
Human and “fur” babies alike are high up on the priority shopping list for the modern Australian homemaker.
At a time when the broader retail market is struggling with lacklustre growth and a slowdown in consumer spending is pinching profits, the baby and infant industry has been enjoying a boom.
For the past few years baby care has consistently outperformed the wider retail market, and while experts argue about the exact value of this sector, it is estimated to be worth more than $8 billion in Australia alone.
Not to be undermined, the Australian pet-care sector superseeds the marketshare of the baby care sector. Australians are spending $12 billion a year on food, grooming, vets and insurance for their animals, making the pet care industry one of the major growth hot spots of the country’s business sector.
There are an estimated eight million pet owners, primarily of cats and dogs, which means Australia has one of the highest domestic animal ownership rates in the world. And the Aussie homemakers are the people making the majority of the retail decisions regarding pet care products.
4. New Products
Word of mouth is strong even in the grocery game. 57% of people who have purchased and tried a new grocery item have told someone about it, compared to just 23% who don’t mention it to anyone.
Here is what some of our Agents had to say about new grocery items they have tried recently:
5. Garden and Auto Supplies
With homemakers bearing less responsibility for garden and automotive supplies compared to other categories, it’s not surprising that the frequency of purchase from these is much lower.