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Grocers Aim to Make Mother’s Day Memorable – and Easy

Ahead of the $33.5B holiday, retailers offer gift suggestions, recipes and ready-to-serve meals
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
Fresh Market Mothers Day
The Fresh Market is offering a trio of Mother's Day meals, with main sources of chateaubriand cut filet mignon and Chilean sea bass cakes.

The first half of May is fairly stacked with occasions that draw shoppers to grocery stores, including the Kentucky Derby on May 4, Cinco de Mayo on May 5 and, one of the biggest holidays of the month, Mother’s Day. Food retailers are gearing up accordingly, offering meal deals and gift ideas for the mothers, grandmothers and mother figures in their customers’ lives.

There are certainly incremental sales to be had for the May 12 observation. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), Mother’s Day spending is expected to hit $33.5 billion in 2024, with 84% of U.S. adults celebrating the holiday. Perhaps not surprisingly, the most popular gifts are flowers (74%), greeting cards (74%) and brunch or dinner outings (59%).

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At-home brunches and the traditional Mother’s Day breakfast in bed remain popular as well. RetailMeNot shared results of its 2024 survey showing that 27% of people plan to buy food and beverages away from home for Mother’s Day, and 21% intend to buy food and beverages for at-home celebrations. That coupon-oriented site also reported that 43% of those polled plan to shop for the moms in their lives on, while 40% will go to big box stores like Walmart or Target and 23% will visit grocery stores. 

84.51°, the retail data science, insights and media arm of The Kroger Co., also conducted research ahead of Mother’s Day, finding that 32% of consumers will celebrate with a special meal at home. The data affirms that floral departments will be especially busy, with 42% of shoppers planning on buying flowers for Mothers’ Day. According to 84.51°, weekly floral sales increased nearly four times compared to an average week at Kroger during last year’s run-up to Mother’s Day.

Grocers around the United States are touting their Mother’s Day offerings and promotions to optimize visits this year. Examples include the following:

  • The Fresh Market is offering gourmet meals that can be ordered in advance and picked up between May 10-12. Options include a two-person meal of premium Choice chateaubriand cut filet mignon, lump crab cakes and Chilean sea bass cakes, accompanied by mascarpone whipped potatoes with rosemary, asparagus with red peppers and sea salt butter and eight chocolate dipped strawberries, bundled with a reusable tote and seasonal bouquet, for $59.99; and a prime rib meal for two with seasoned green beans, mascarpone whipped potatoes with rosemary and rosemary horseradish aioli, along with a reusable tote. The Fresh Market also created a ready-to-heat Mother’s Day Brunch for four for $19.99 with a choice of quiche, tropical fruit, blueberry muffins and a reusable tote. In addition, the grocer assembled curated gift baskets for the holiday and is promoting its seasonal floral arrangements.
  • Whole Foods Market shared curated gifts and meals for Mother’s Day on its website, offering suggestions for a brunch with quiche, smoked salmon, rose wine and other meal components. The grocer is taking the work out of it for customers with prepared meal bundles like a Mother’s Day feast for four for $169.99, a classic brunch for four for $109.99 and a vegetarian brunch for four for $109.99. Whole Foods also shared a list of six unique gift ideas that include items for self-care, along with flowers to brighten up surroundings. 
  • The Kroger Co. is likewise making it easier for people to make Mom’s day, with a landing page chock full of shoppable links and ideas, from health and beauty products that can be shipped quickly and easily to catered brunches to recipes for brunch and a mimosa bar.
  • Albertsons Cos. posted ideas for those who want to make meals and gifts for mothers as well as offerings for those who prefer prepared items. Like other grocers, Albertsons is focusing on brunch inspiration and products available in-store and online for delivery or pickup. Recipes include dishes like Overnight French Toast Casserole with Raspberries & Maple Syrup and Breakfast Quesadilla with Cinnamon Cream Cheese, Blueberries & Almonds. 

Greensboro, N.C.-based The Fresh Market operates 162 stores in 22 states and is No. 76 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods has more than 500 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Seattle-based Amazon, which is No. 2 on The PG 100. Nearly half a million associates of Cincinnati-based Kroger serve more than 11 million customers daily through a digital shopping experience and retail food stores under a variety of banner names. The company is No. 4 on The PG 100. Boise, Idaho based Albertsons operates 2,200-plus retail food and drug stores and is No. 9. 

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