An Increase in Male Grocery Shoppers Could Lead to Supermarket Changes

published Aug 2, 2017
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(Image credit: George Rudy)

There are more men wandering grocery store aisles, reports a new survey from Men’s Health. The survey — which only questioned men (insert eye roll) — found that 84 percent of men are the main grocery shoppers in their households. That’s 19 percent higher than what was the case 10 years ago.

“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,” Chris Peel, publisher of Men’s Health, tells the Washington Post.

Why is this the case? The Washington Post cites two reasons. The first is that gender roles are changing, and the second is that people are not getting married at the same rate or age as they once did. Also, according to Paco Underhill, chief executive of behavioral research firm Envirosell, “there’s a younger generation of man who’s actively interested in food.”

Peel tells the Washington Post that the findings of the survey “challenge many gender stereotypes related to food shopping and cooking.” That said, there are still some disparities in gender when it comes to how grocery shopping is tackled.

It should also be noted that other studies on grocery shopping — those that interviewed both men and women — found that women still grocery shop slightly more than men. “NPD Group, for example, estimates that men are the primary grocery shoppers in 41 percent of U.S. households,” explains the Washington Post.

Men reportedly shop without strategy and don’t make purchases with long-term goals in mind. Women, on the other hand, are more likely to plan ahead. Men are also more swayed by branding and to splurge for more expensive cuts of meat. These are, of course, just stereotypes, and not how everyone shops.

That being said, the growing presence of men in the supermarket, coupled with their shopping patterns, is causing supermarkets to reconsider how they organize their goods.

“Remember: Many male shoppers come to the store without a weekly or even same-day meal plan in mind,” Kellogg’s says in a 2015 report. “Consider organizing aisles and displays around shopper missions, like ‘lunchbox essentials’ or ‘tonight’s dinner,’ and calling out these sections with clear signage so the male shopper can quickly find what he is looking for.”

Who does your grocery shopping in your family? Let us know in the comments!