National Grocer

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There’s More Dads in the Dairy Aisle than Ever Before

Aug 08, 2017

Anyone who is grocery shopping these days can’t help but notice that there are a lot more guys browsing supermarket shelves or looking for the perfect bananas – not too green, not too much brown.

The fact is, men are increasingly bearing a larger share of the responsibility for food shopping. Recent research done by Men’s Health reports that that guys are taking more control over grocery shopping than ever before. The findings even show that 84 percent of men say they are the primary grocery shopper in their household, a 19 percent increase over the last decade. In fact, two-thirds of the respondents stated they’re the ones deciding what to buy before they get to the store.

And it doesn’t stop at the grocery store. An increasing number of men are turning up in the kitchen as well, with 93 percent preparing meals for themselves and 77 percent preparing meals for others. They’re also looking for new recipes and trends too. Almost half indicated they had watched cooking videos in the last year – often on social media – and 86 percent have tried a new brand in the past year.

What does this all mean for the independent supermarket industry? Chris Peel, a publisher at Men’s Health, sums it up well: “The study’s results continue to challenge many gender stereotypes related to food shopping and cooking. Men have an active role in each stage of the food purchasing process – before getting to the store, while there, and when cooking the food they’ve bought. Food retailers are uniquely positioned to appeal to men throughout this cycle and to evolve their marketing plans based on this compelling data.”

A 2015 study by market research publisher Packaged Facts backs up this claim, but suggest men shop differently than women. The good news for independent grocers, though, is that men don’t stick to shopping lists, often ignore prices, and spend more, yet purchase fewer items, making their average cost per item higher. This suggests many women may still do the “big” grocery shopping for their households, while men more frequently make interment supermarket trips to pick up staples or food for dinner than night.

What’s behind this trend? Demographics, for one thing. Younger “millennial” households tend to split up shopping duties, which means more males assuming the role as primary shopper. Also, meal prep is now a joint venture often involving everyone in the home, including the kids. The result is more male shoppers deployed to the supermarket with long shopping lists. Economics also is playing a role. In two-income households especially, moms need help with a variety of chores, and men are stepping up their involvement.

Millennial dads are also proving to be a unique group, with behaviors that differ from previous generations. With many not subscribing to traditional gender norms, many are redefining fatherhood by spending more time with their kids, doing a larger portion of the household shopping, and spending lots of money. As a result, Millennial dads often shop 4 times a week when compared to the average shopper, spend nearly $170 compared to the average $108, and seek out quality over a good deal.

Learn more about men’s attitudes and behaviors while shopping for groceries, eating health, preparing meals for themselves and others, and the influence many have over purchasing decision with the infographic from Men’s Health below:

How Men Shop for Food