Friday, January 28

Men Doing The Grocery Shopping

There was an interesting article last week from Yahoo, describing how many of the grocery shopping duties for the family are now falling on the men of the household.

Now as a single Dad, I do find that easy to believe. I have long done the household chores for my kids, although admittedly that has dwindled for me as my kids have gotten older. And I know a lot of my guy friends who take very active roles in the household shopping, cooking, and (even) laundry.

But as a marketer who runs an agency around marketing to women, I still wonder if it's really a national trend. The survey seems legitimate, so I am not questioning that. I just wonder if many of the men in the survey exaggerated their household influence ... not necessarily on purpose. Don't women still rule the grocery aisle?

The economy has certainly changed our roles, with many men finding themselves at home a lot more. With each generation we also see a blurring of traditional roles and responsibilities. But 60% of men say that they do the household grocery shopping?

Not sure ... but you can read about it here.

It sure does speak to how we need to change our communications strategies. As package goods marketers, we tend to focus on mom. White mom married to her first husband with her own kids. Even the census data shows that those households are way way way in the minority. So what this little article does for me, regardless of the actual data, is to tell me that we need to expand our definition of our target market. Expand beyond the traditional and really look hard at who is doing the shopping, the deciding, and the buying. It's very likely a mix ... Mom, Dad, teenagers, grandparents. We should be talking to all of them.

A true melting pot. Hmmmm.

What's your experience? Jim


  1. When the kids were first born through their toddler years, I did much of the shopping. Generally late at night in 24 hour stores to keep us stocked while my wife survived having two kids 18 months apart. Now that they are in school and she has more time, I shop less. Mostly for staples and produce. Picking up things that I know we need and quietly replenishing, or taking a list from my wife to save her a trip. Point-of-sale advertising is about all I go on to make comparisons. I don't see much other marketing. If I see something new and interesting in the store, I might try it. New flavors, for example. I am more apt to experiment than my wife even though I tend move quickly around the store and she's more likely to browse, if the kids are not in tow.

  2. What I love hearing in your comment is that it's a partnership and that the partnership has evolved over your lifetime together. Sometimes the man of the house does the shopping, sometimes the woman ... depends on the demands of the family. As it should be. Thanks for writing. Jim.