Gift Cards Are Moms’ Most Desired Mother’s Day Gift, and the Present that Their Family Members Are Most Likely to Get Them

Yet Over One Quarter of Moms Aren’t Expecting any Gifts; Likewise, Many Adults Aren’t Buying a Present for the Moms in Their Lives

Thursday, May 10, 2012

New York, NY – A phone call is the most common mode of communication used to wish moms a Happy Mother’s Day (43%), followed by an in-person conversation (39%) or a greeting card (38%), according to a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Few say that they use a text message (7%), email (6%), or social media (6%) to say Happy Mother’s Day. Four percent say that they use none of these methods, and a quarter (26%) say that it’s not applicable to them.

  • Women are more likely than men to send a greeting card (41% vs. 34%).

One in seven respondents (14%) admits that they have forgotten to wish their mom a Happy Mother’s Day, though three quarters (73%) report that they always remember. An additional 13% say that this is not applicable.

  • Men are more likely than women to say that they’ve forgotten to wish their mom a Happy Mother’s Day (20% vs. 8%).

Mother’s Day Gifts

Moms are most likely to want a gift card for Mother’s Day (19%), followed by flowers (15%). One in ten would most like to get a handmade gift (11%), peace and quiet (time away from their kids/spouse) (11%), or jewelry (9%), while fewer are wishing for a spa day (7%) or candy (2%). A plurality of moms (27%) say that they aren’t hoping for any gifts on Mother’s Day.

Just a quarter of respondents (26%) intend to get their spouse or partner a gift for Mother’s Day, including 32% of married adults. Nearly half of men (47%) are planning on getting a gift for their significant other for Mother’s Day.

Overall, the most common gift that respondents are planning to get for their spouse or partner is flowers (15%) followed by a gift card (9%). Among men, these are also the top gifts (27% and 16%, respectively), followed by jewelry (11%) candy (10%), or peace and quiet (8%). However, 20% of men say that they are not planning on buying a gift for their significant other for Mother’s Day and 35% say that it isn’t applicable.

When it comes to shopping for a Mother’s Day gift for one’s mom, gift cards (28%) and flowers (25%) top the list as well, followed by a handmade gift (9%), candy (8%), or jewelry (7%). Just 4% are planning on getting their moms a day at the spa, or peace and quiet from the family. One in ten (11%) aren’t planning on getting their mothers anything, and a third (34%) report that it is not applicable to them.

Flowers (8%) and gift cards (7%) are also the most common gifts that adults intend to buy for their grandmothers for Mother’s Day. One in eight (12%) do not plan on getting their grandmothers a gift, though the majority (70%) say that this is not applicable to their family situation.

When buying a Mother’s Day gift for their moms, a plurality of respondents say that they typically don’t spend anything (29%). The majority of adults surveyed typically spend between $1 and $50 on a gift (54%). One in seven (13%) say that they tend to spend between $50 and $100, while just 4% budget over $100 for a Mother’s Day gift for their moms.

Though few plan to indulge the mothers in their lives with a spa day for Mother’s Day, the top treatment preferred by moms is a massage, selected by 41%, followed by a pedicure (19%), manicure (8%), or facial (7%). Similarly, among all respondents, a massage is the preferred spa treatment, selected by 38% of adults. About one in seven (13%) say that their favorite spa treatment is a pedicure, though fewer select a facial (5%), the steam room/sauna (5%), a manicure (5%), or yoga (2%). A third say that they don’t prefer any of these, including 43% of men surveyed.

When it comes to celebrating Mother’s Day with a meal, moms are most likely to prefer a fancy dinner (38%) or brunch (32%), while just 7% say that breakfast in bed is their favorite Mother’s Day meal. An additional quarter (23%) say that none of these are their favorite meal.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted April 26-30, 2012. For the survey, national samples of 1,009 adults aged 18 and older from Ipsos’ U.S. online panel were interviewed online, including 385 mothers of a child of any age. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the U.S. adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of 1,009 and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points 19 times out of 20 of what the results would have been had the entire adult population of adults aged 18 and older in the United States had been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release please contact:

Rebecca Sizelove
Senior Research Manager
Ipsos Public Affairs

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Gift Cards Are Moms’ Most Desired Mother’s Day Gift, and the Present that Their Family Members Are Most Likely to Get Them

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Elen Alexov
Director, Marketing Services,
North America