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Boredom Tops Women's Meal Planning Challenges: Study


The main challenge women face with food purchases and meal preparation is not cost, time, or even convenience, but boredom, according to results of a national, multi-generational study conducted by SheSpeaks.

Among the key takeaways of the SheSpeaks Social Food Journey online study, which was fielded by the influencer marketing and media platform between Aug. 1–Sept. 3, and compiled from 2,767 women 18 and older:

  • Women are overwhelmingly bored with current meal options and seek inspiration for new food preparation ideas. They crave product samples, recipes and product tips and tricks from brands.
  • Women are influenced foremost by friends/family and secondly from product reviews by other consumers.
  • Social influence: Facebook and Pinterest are the reigning social source for inspiration/information on mealtime across generations. 
  • Instagram is the No. 1 place for Millennials to post about their meals.

"One key insight from this survey dispels the myth around meal preparation," notes Aliza Freud, CEO, SheSpeaks. "While many food brand marketers think that women’s chief challenge involves cost, time and/or convenience, our survey revealed that, across all age groups, boredom is the number one challenge. When we put that finding together with what influences their purchases (i.e. friends, family, social media follows), some interesting opportunities for food brands emerge," says Freud.

For example, she continued, "A food brand marketer may want to engage an influencer to make a video demonstrating how to make a new recipe they created in their own kitchen and then amplify it to reach their target audience."

Further, since women are most influenced to make purchases by friends/family and consumer product reviews, Freud advises food brands to focus more closely on word-of-mouth marketing to ensure robust product reviews are available on their brand's and retail partner sites.

"There was a very interesting distinction across social platforms for sharing food content," observed Freud. "Survey respondents clearly told us that they go to Pinterest for food inspiration, but they post to Instagram to share and 'show off' their food. While one platform is about discovery, the other is more about pride."

More information about SheSpeaks' Social Food Journey can be found here.


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