As Men Shop and Cook More, Will They Spend More Freely than Women?
In recent years, men have been stepping up with more grocery shopping and cooking activity. For example, Schnuck’s reported that 6% more men were the Primary Grocery Shopper compared to 5 years ago. Another study found that Gen X men go grocery shopping more than once a week and cook eight or more meals per week, much more than their fathers did. And the Food Network estimated that men make up 42% of their viewing audience.
While women still account for the preponderance of the cooking and grocery shopping, manufacturers and retailers are taking note of men’s increased involvement. Brands seeking to appeal to both women and men should understand the similarities and differences between the two groups. Some research indicates men have the potential to be very profitable customers.
Cooking and Eating: Men and Women
Men and women are similar in that almost 90% say they enjoy eating, and 75% or more also love to cook and enjoy preparing meals. However, there are differences in approach, as men much prefer to use the grill (46% for men as compared with 16% for women) and women prefer the oven (42% for women as compared with 17% for men). Additionally, men are more willing to invest additional time in cooking, with 57% saying they would take 40+ minutes to prepare a meal as compared with 48% of women.
Men’s favorite meal to prepare is dinner, and Kraft research finds that 94% of men are confident in their cooking skills.
Men Might be More Profitable
Men’s approach to food shopping also differs from women’s methods. For example, men have a greater preference for name brands. They are more likely to say that the amount of money you save in buying a store brand doesn’t make up for the difference in quality.
Marketing to Moms Coalition research also found that dads are less likely to use coupons than moms (32% of dads vs. 42% of moms say they are doing this more often). They are also less likely to use circulars to plan shopping trips or to shop sales for grocery products.
These indications show the potential for men to be more profitable customers than women, through buying higher-priced name brand products and showing brand loyalty even when a competing brand is on sale.
Where Men Have the Most Say
According to Men’s Health, men are also more likely to have greater purchase influence in certain categories such as salty snacks, cold beverages, cereal, ice cream and beer.
Manufacturers and retailers are starting to act on these trends. In 2012, one retailer, New York’s Westside market, responded by creating a “Man Aisle.” Note the name brand products and that nothing is actually on sale—the products are featured but not on promotion.
Forward-thinking brands can use these insights to appeal to the growing male shopper segment. Marketing strategies should focus on reaching men in new ways—the traditional tactics of sales and coupons won’t be as effective as with women. While women still control the preponderance of grocery spending, men represent an opportunity in that they may spend more freely. It will be interesting to see which brands and retailers have breakthrough success with men.