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    Catering to the Male Mind

    51% of men say they’re the primary shoppers in their household

    It’s certainly not a surprise that the shopping behaviors of men and women differ greatly, especially in the grocery aisles. And within the last couple of decades, men have become no strangers to the supermarket as they take on more of their family's domestic responsibility.

    In fact, according to a nationwide U.S. survey of 1,000 fathers conducted by Yahoo! and market research firm DB5 released early this year, 51 percent of men were the primary grocery shoppers in their household, of which 60 percent said they were the primary decision makers regarding CPGs, including packaged food.

    For retailers, it’s important to understand the way men think, as catering to this group represents a lucrative opportunity.

    According to a survey conducted by Integer, 60 percent of men unsurprisingly have a “get-in-and-get-out” attitude when it comes to shopping, and only 26 percent take time to explore the aisles. Retailers can take advantage of this trend by catering their store's layout with convenience in mind.

    “Overall male shoppers appear generally less engaged in [the] whole weekly shopping process,” said Marcus Evans, managing director, Integer Canada. “Meaning they are less influenced by brands, less motivated by discounts and promotions and consequently less likely to make impulse purchases as they are more mission focused.”

    Additionally, the survey found that men tend to have a “me-first” attitude while shopping, often fulfilling their personal needs before focusing on household items. In fact, only 39 percent of men believe their family’s needs should take priority over their own, according to Evans.

    “It’s okay to give males the opportunity to be selfish,” Evans said. “It’s cool to say ‘you’ rather than ‘family’ when selling to men.”

    In the same vein, men are much less sensitive to price, discounts and promotions than woman, with only 39 percent specifically looking for cheaper items in the aisles, and only 29 percent consciously spending less, despite a still uncertain economic environment.

    As male consumers expand their foot print in the grocery aisles, it will be interesting to see what strategies retailers implement to adapt to this continuing trend.

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