Scarlett of Suburbia

Field Notes from The Motherhood


May 2010

Menu Plan for Week of 5/30/10 – 6/5/10

Sunday May 30th


Breakfast: Stuffed French Toast

Lunch: Storebought Roast Chicken and Greek Salad

Dinner: Grilled Chicken & Pineapple Quesadillas


Monday May 31st (Memorial Day)


Breakfast:  Eggs Benedict

Lunch: Super Hero Sandwich, Roasted Veggies, Red/White/Blue Shortcake

Dinner: Out


Tuesday June 1st


Breakfast: Carmel Apple Sticky Buns

Lunch: Super Hero Leftover Sandwiches, Carrot & Raisin Salad, Chocolate Pudding

Dinner: Shrimp & Linguine in a Foil Package


Wednesday June 2nd


Breakfast: Egg in a Hole, Strawberry & Banana Smoothie

Lunch: BLT Wrap, Fruit Salad, Celery Sticks

Dinner: Brisket, Mashed Potatoes, Tossed Green Salad


Thursday June 3rd


Breakfast: Apple Crunch Bread, Hot Chocolate Milk

Lunch: Turkey Sandwiches, Sliced Tomatoes, Fake Oreo Cookies

Dinner: Shrimp Risotto, Asparagus


Friday June 4th


Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs, Whole Wheat Toast, Melon Slices

Lunch: Leftover Buffet or Out

Dinner: Cowboy Nachos & Beans


Saturday June 5th


Breakfast: Apple Dumplings, Milk

Lunch: Salad Nicoise w Baguette

Dinner: Grilled Ribeye Steak w Onions & Blue Cheese Sauce, Corn on the BBQ, WF Potato Salad


Mobile Gaming: Gartner Predicts 19% End-user Spending Increase


The popularity of smartphones and app stores, growing accessibility in emerging markets and improved device interfaces are contributing to the double-digit growth of the worldwide mobile gaming market, according to Gartner.

The research firm estimates end-users around the world will spend $5.6 billion on mobile gaming this year, up 19% over 2009 spending. By 2014 the market will increase to $11.4 billion in spending.

Mobile Gaming End-User Revenues Worldwide, 2009, 2010 & 2014 (billions)

“The hype around mobile application stores has opened this market up to numerous publishers and developers—further expanding revenue potential and competition in this industry,” said Tuong Nguyen, principal research analyst at Gartner, in a statement.

“Although we expect most mobile gamers to continue to gravitate toward ‘free’ games,” he said, “we do not expect the ad-supported model to take off within the next three years—despite the success we have seen with this approach in the Japanese market.”

Currently, Gartner estimates about 60% to 70% of games downloaded from app stores are free. Further, the firm believes 70% to 80% of all app store downloads are games.

Mobile still accounts for only a small percentage of total gaming revenues, however. TNS and Newzoo reported that in 2009, mobile contributed 4% to total US video gaming revenues of nearly $25.3 billion, or $1.1 billion. That proportion was similar in the UK, France and Germany, where total spending was much lower.

US Video Game Revenues, by Platform, 2009 (% of total)

NPD Group estimated a lower total for 2009 US video game spending of $20.2 billion. Newzoo claims that its reliance on end-user survey data rather than retail sales provides a fuller picture of spending on used games, online subscriptions and downloads, microtransactions and virtual currency.


Source: eMarketer

About the little piggy who went to market: what’s with the ‘wee wee wee all the way home’? What does ‘wee’ even mean?

The 8 y.o.

Menu Plan for the Week of 5/17/10 – 5/23/10

Monday May 17th


Breakfast: Ovaltine, Wheatabix, Fruit

Lunch: Chicken Salad, Crackers, Apple Slices, Chocolate Cookies

Dinner: Pulled BBQ Pork w Buns, Cole Slaw, Baked Potatoes


Tuesday May 18th


Breakfast: Orange Marmalade Rolls, Milk

Lunch: WF Tuna Salad, Crackers, Carrot Sticks, Drinkable Applesauce

Dinner: Enchilada Lasagne, Tossed Green Salad


Wednesday May 19th

Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs & Hashbrowns

Lunch: Vegetarian Spread Wraps, Terra Chips, Strawberries w sugar

Dinner: PW Meatballs, Mashed Redskins, Broccoli


Thursday May 20th


Breakfast: Good Morning Muffins, Hot Chocolate Milk

Lunch: Meatball Wraps, Cascadian Farms Granola Bar, Apple Slices

Dinner: Vegetarian Steamed Dumplings, Jasmine Rice


Friday May 21st


Breakfast: Cinnamon Toast or Oatmeal, Peaches

Lunch: WF (Rare) Roast Beef Sandwiches with Sharp Cheddar, Terra Chips, Grapes

Dinner: Fried Chicken, Corn Salad, Green Beans


Saturday May 22nd (Marlowe’s 8th Birthday)


Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Fruit Salad

Lunch: Platter of Sandwiches (Turkey, PBJ, Cheese), Celery & Carrot Sticks, Birthday Cake

Dinner: Out for Dinner


Sunday May 23rd


Breakfast: Blueberry Pancakes, Turkey Sausage

Lunch: Sloppy Joes, Potato Chips, Carrot Sticks

Dinner: Artichoke Pasta Salad, Whole Grain Rolls

Potlatch Music Video Shot in Second Life

Social Listening for New Product Development

For years, Nielsen has been refining and expanding its online tools that enable clients to put actionable context behind conversations about their brand. As “brand listening” on the web has now become standard practice, it’s time to go deeper to unlock the value, passion and insight hidden inside the everyday chatter happening outside the context of your brand. As social media usage and time spent on these sites grows globally, the need for this deep social listening, with the proper approach and analysis, is more important than ever.

In a recent webinar, The Power of Listening: How KRAFT Leverages Social Media Insights for New Product Development, I hosted with Paul Banas of Kraft Foods, we examined how Nielsen’s social listening frameworks could provide valuable dimension and feedback for Kraft’s potential entry into the burger or mini-burger market. Kraft knows the cheese part of cheeseburger better than anyone, but what could social listening tell them about product trends, emerging flavors and consumer profiles?

Beyond Brand
When we talk about food online, we see that maybe 10% of conversations mention brands specifically, while the rest focus on passionate likes and dislikes, chatter about daily routines and more.


But where to start?
Listening to the entire web to get new product ideas is a bit like boiling the ocean. This is why building a listening framework around themes is key. For example, we could focus in on themes like health and wellness, sustainability, and even an occasion like getting out of the house in the morning. From there we can map those themes, look for trends over time, find intersections and conversation drivers across different segments. Then, it’s onto a deep dive of that information blending search trends and offline data among other tactics.


It’s also important to build a framework around audience types. Kraft knows that moms talk about food differently than food aficionados, dieters or those big on entertaining at home. Understanding who is providing feedback, where they are commenting and even what time of day helps put their passions and preferences in the proper context.

Understanding the Situational Context

Lifestyle personas of at-home burger eaters

Passion: Cooking unique, gourmet burgers, appreciated sophisticated palates.
Enjoys Them With: Spouse, friends, sometimes kids.
Flavor Profile: High-end proteins: bison, lamb, kobe beef. Enjoys interesting seasonings and toppings.
Where You’ll Find Them: Foodie communities, personal blogs
Tension: Getting kids to enjoy “fancy” burgers
Moms + Household Chefs
Passion: Basic beef or turkey burgers
Occasion: Family dinners, weekend cookouts
Enjoys Them With: Spouse, children
Flavor Profile: Existing freezer or pantry ingredients
Where You’ll Find Them: Personal blogs, recipe sharing and mom sites
Tension: Creating a quick, tasty meal while avoiding dinnertime ruts. Greasy burgers are deemed unhealthy.
Passion: Pre-made burgers, beef burgers with no buns, turkey burgers, veggie burgers.
Prep Profile: George Foreman grill, microwaves
Where You’ll Find Them: Weight loss communities, personal blogs
Tension: Time-consuming to make fresh burgers, poor taste for healthier options.
Passion: Beef burgers, turkey burgers served in casual, fun atmosphere, usually prepared on an outdoor grill.
Flavor Profile: Basic seasonings
Enjoys Them With: Friends, extended family
Occasions: Weekends, holidays, during nice weather
Tension: Poor weather, preparation time takes time away from guests, less “classy” than other menu options.

Results of the Deep Dive
When Kraft focused in on conversations specifically around “sliders” or mini burgers, they found some common themes and “Positive Triggers” across audiences to help focus their thinking.

  • Sharability: Social networking helped highlight the fact that sliders are themselves social and are a food that is rarely consumed alone. They are more likely to be enjoyed at a social function, a happy hour or events.
  • Kids Love ‘Em: Parents of picky eaters found it a fun dinner option and could make an activity out preparation with their children.
  • Multiple Meal Satisfier: Sliders can be consumed as an appetizer, snack or light dinner. Its value as a late-night junk-food fix among students was also a factor.

The Value of Social Listening
While both Paul and I agree that social listening is not a full replacement for traditional focus groups, surveys or “ask-based” research, social listening is vital to understanding the passion of consumer sentiment online. Listening vs. Asking provides a powerful complement with the potential to increase the depth, speed and even the affordability of large-scale customer research.



I think Meijer would attract more families if they traded in their penny ponies for real ones.

The 7 y.o.

On Reptiles

The 3 y.o: Mom – ask me, “Did you study reptiles in preschool today?”

The Mom (eating dinner) motions to her mouth, chewing.

The 3 y.o: Mom!!! I said, “Ask me – did you study reptiles in preschool today?”

The Mom (swallowing her food): “Sweetie, did you study reptiles in preschool today?”

The 3 y.o: “Nope. We learned about mammals.”

Menu Plan for the Week of 5/3/10 – 5/9/10

Monday May 3rd


Breakfast: Ovaltine, Wheatabix, Fruit

Lunch: Chicken Salad, Crackers, Apple Slices, Chocolate Cookies

Dinner: Steak on the BBQ, Brown Sugar Asparagus


Tuesday May 4th


Breakfast: Biscuits and Gravy, OJ

Lunch: WF Tuna Salad, Crackers, Carrot Sticks, Drinkable Applesauce

Dinner: Grilled Salmon, Festive Grilled Zucchini and Sweet Potato Salad


Wednesday May 5th

Breakfast: Egg-white & Cheese Omelet, Hashbrowns

Lunch: Chicken Cesar Salad Wraps, Terra Chips, Strawberries w sugar

Dinner: PW Meatballs, Mashed Redskins, Broccoli


Thursday May 6th


Breakfast: Good Morning Muffins, Hot Chocolate Milk

Lunch: BLT Wraps, Cascadian Farms Granola Bar, Apple Slices

Dinner: BBQ Wild-caught Salmon with Yogurt, Fresh Corn Casserole


Friday May 7th


Breakfast: Oatmeal, Peaches

Lunch: WF (Rare) Roast Beef Sandwiches with Sharp Cheddar, Terra Chips, WF Cole Slaw

Dinner: Baked Lemon Pasta, Cesar Salad Kit, Blueberry Cobbler


Saturday May 8th


Breakfast: Panera Bagels & Cream Cheese Milk

Lunch: Pioneer Woman Favorite Salad

Dinner: Chicken Parmigiana, Green Beans, Buttered Noodles


Sunday May 9th


Breakfast: Pancakes, Bacon, Maple Syrup

Lunch: White Chicken Enchiladas, Shred lettuce, Cheese, Picante Sauce, Olives

Dinner: (Frozen) Shrimp Scampi, Jasmine Rice, Stir Fry Bok Choy.

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