Infographic: How Millennial Moms Shop to Fill Their Kids’ Lunch Boxes

Some survey results may surprise you

Kraft Mozzarella String cheese, Planters Honey Roasted Peanuts and SkinnyPop Popcorn in your lunchbox?

Makes going back to school sound delightfully sweet (and salty)!

Those three items topped the list of food products millennial moms view as healthy, according to Influenster, a site whose 1.5 million members discuss and review all manner of consumer goods. Blue Diamond Whole Natural Almonds, Pepperidge Farm 100-Calorie Cheddar Goldfish Snack Crackers and Ocean Spray Blueberry Craisins ranked third through sixth on the list.

"While newer brands like SkinnyPop and Bear Naked made the cut, it's interesting to see that classic brands like Kraft and Planters still resonate among these moms," Elizabeth Scherle, president and co-founder of Influenster, told Adweek.

The site recently polled more than 5,500 of its members—women between the ages of 21 and 37 who live with children—to gain insights into their grocery-shopping habits as the new school year approaches.

Some findings weren't so surprising. For example, millennial mothers said they prioritize nutrition (88 percent) over price (65 percent) and convenience (52 percent) when planning lunches for their kids to take to school. Three out of four moms believed the meals they pack for their own kids are more nutritious than those prepared by their own mothers back in the day.

"So, when marketing to millennial moms versus older generations, brands should make sure to consider and emphasize nutritional value in messaging and product development rather than price," said Scherle.

Among the survey's surprises: Keeping lunch-box meals gluten-free—a topic that really resonates in some circles—came in dead last on the priority list at 8 percent.

"Perhaps this is a dietary restriction millennial moms are reserving for themselves and opting for a more rounded, balanced diet for their children," said Scherle.

Nearly 80 percent of moms picked word-of-mouth as the most influential factor in buying decisions, followed by online reviews and social media, which each tallied close to 60 percent.

"Word-of-mouth and recommendations have always played important roles," said Scherle, "but for today's digitally connected millennial moms, it's like word-of-mouth on steroids. Social media and reviews have given these moms the catalyst to interact, inspire and share with each other like never before. They have instant access to what's new, good and bad for their little ones." She added, "This isn't going away, so brands have to recognize it and find a positive, collaborative way to be a part of the conversation."

Despite millennials' vaunted digital savvy, these moms prefer shopping in supermarkets (almost 90 percent) or at big-box retail stores (over 80 percent) far more than they like buying food online—which, at 7 percent, was lowest in the survey, even trailing convenience stores.

"This is probably a combination of tradition and nostalgia—something that you have done with your parents or grandparents growing up and something you'd like to continue doing with your own kids," said Scherle. "You know, there's just something fun about stealing all the cheese and cookie samples in aisle five."

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.