Grocery chains are seeing an increase in male shoppers walking down their aisles. “Our store managers are telling us we’re seeing more men than ever before,” says Rob Koss, Vice-President of Marketing at Longo’s. According to a study by NPD Group, Canadian men were the primary grocery shoppers in 25 percent of households in 2010, up from 20 percent in 2006.
Men are making more meals so that they can be a bigger part of family time; “We’re seeing more men doing grocery shopping and more young dads cooking with their kids as a way to bond with them at home., says Supermarket Consultant Phil Lempert.
Brands and retailers should be aware that men who enter the grocery store also bring with them a different shopping style. “We talk to a lot of these single millennial guys about shopping, and the biggest headline is they’re not as structured, not as hurried, much more experimental, more adventurous.” says Barry Calpino, Vice President of Breakthrough Innovation at Kraft Foods. When male shoppers are married they show signs of being more frugal and structured about their trips. According to a recent Men’s Health magazine survey, some 86% of men said they did their homework before heading into a store.
Once in the store, men take the same attitude they do when lost on a road trip. Refusing to stop and ask for directions, men want to accomplish their shopping with total independence. Should he run into any snags on his way, he doesn’t hesitate to ask for backup, with roughly 50% of men saying they call home while out shopping. Sometimes that is to ask, ‘The store is out of your brand of yogurt…what brand should I get instead,’ or ‘Honey, do you need anything else?’ But John Wilkins, Vice President of Strategic Client Development at Atlanta-based Miller Zell points out the question is often to ask where something is located. “That speaks volumes because it suggests that that they have more confidence in someone who is not even in the store and does not work for the store than they do in the retail staff and signage.”
Some men would rather turn to their smartphone than a store clerk to get help if they need it. According to research by New York-based InsightExpress, men between 25 and 34 confirm or justify pricing, get a review on a product, grab a coupon or look up a recipe on their phone. Mobile is shaping to be a very important part of the shopping experience.