Debbie Jackson, head of new business, Clarion Communications
Have my shopping habits as a mother changed over the past 12 months? I can say a resounding 'yes'. In fact I am responsible for most of the purchasing decisions in my household (with the recent exception of car tyres) - so what does that mean for brands trying to reach me and my family?
It means that I look for quality at a good price. For non-perishable goods, I want to be certain that items will last longer than in the past - I’m no longer frivolous with our spending and actually search out good deals via price comparison sites, or ensure I get loyalty points from schemes such as Nectar.
I also spend more time searching online or taking note of comments made by other mothers and friends on Facebook than I ever did a year ago - and I only see this as increasing over the next year.
Recently I tried the £5 Tesco meal deal where you buy the ingredients to make a meal from scratch - so not a readymade family-sized lasagne but in this instance finest Italian sausages, fresh pasta, passata, thyme, parmesan - and I was impressed. The fact that I fed my family for a fiver, yet used ingredients from scratch, made a huge difference to buying a readymade meal.
Meals out are now a big treat, but to be honest now that the summer is nearly here the picnic will be Queen of our menu. And yes, I actually enjoy the fact that I seek out deals - it makes that weekly food shop far more interesting.