Chinese mothers value safety above all else, finds OMD survey

Media agency OMD has released the first in its Rhythm research series with a report on mothers in China. The study found that Chinese mothers value safety above all else, research online before making a purchase, and put their children through education of some sort as young as 14 months old.

The announcement:

Shanghai, 29 October, 2015 – OMD China, the leading marketing communications and media investment solutions specialist, has launched RHYTHM – MOVING WITH CHINESE MOTHERS, a quantitative and qualitative research study that explores the desires and concerns of Chinese mums. The study leveraged survey data of CTR China Mum & Baby Study, China National Resident Survey, findings from OMD Baby Skincare Research with myTianHui and Mintel’s Marketing to Mums. With these data sources, OMD went beyond studying the behaviors of mums to look into the underlying needs that drive these behaviours.

“The growth of Chinese economy has been an unprecedented phenomenon. The driving force behind this growth is an evolving Chinese consumer. Rhythm is our initiative to go beyond growth numbers and understand the dynamic target groups who will shape the future. As urbanization increases and its impact felt on the demographic composition of the country, motherhood becomes more of a choice than necessity. Seeing these changes, we chose Chinese mothers for our first Rhythm” said Bhasker Jaiswal, Managing Partner of Business Intelligence, OMD China “Rhythm will help OMD and its clients to understand consumers beyond just media and spending habits and helps us be in tune with them.”

The trend of delayed pregnancy among Chinese modern women is on the increase. Mothers eligible to have a second child are also hesitating to do so. Not surprisingly, this is because mothers in China have a rather difficult and stressful role to play. 89% of all mums feel stressed in their daily life compared to 58% of women in general. To better understand mums’ behaviors, it was crucial to find out the reason behind this phenomenon. Using both quantitative and qualitative approaches, OMD explored some of the main reasons behind the high levels of stress experienced by modern mothers and more importantly, their ways of fighting back the stress. As more and more women born in the 80s join the Mum Club, this study will help brands keep up with the insights and characteristics that drive this special consumer group.


  1. Safety is the no.1 concern that Chinese mums have, whether it is against unsafe food or injuries due to accidents. However, safety is expensive in China. On average, 80% of all mums are willing to spend extra dollars for safer and higher quality products even when it means they will need to work more to make that money.
  1. Mothers do extensive parenting research online; She (mums with children younger than 6) spends on average 37mins each time she visits parenting sites. Mum and baby products are always among the top 3 topics that mums look for on these sites across different child raising stages.
  2. Early Education courses begin as early as 14 months old for children in China today. Mothers are no longer satisfied with developing intelligence only, but demand a well-rounded early education that includes social, language, physical and art training.
  3. 85% of modern mums try to make child-raising affordable by going back to work. Thus, taking care of children is no longer a task only for mums, but also for other family members (70%), babysitters (3%), professional agencies (2%), etc.
  4. Modern mums are taking a different child raising approach than their parents’ generation. Partly to deal with their high pressure and partly to develop children’s independence, there are increasingly adopting the western way of child-raising which is less over protective.

Arlene Ang, OMD China CEO commented: “Rhythm is one of our many innovative initiatives to navigate our clients through the rapidly changing and complicated market. We hope these insights can help brands understand modern Chinese mothers better and create new ways to re-connect with them.”

Source: press release


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