Grocery stores increasing focus on male buyers
Thursday, September 28, 2017
Ever since Men's Health (MH) magazine released the results of a recent study, the grocery industry has been busy analyzing the results. The MH survey stated that 84 percent of men saying they are the primary grocery shoppers in their household. This is a 19 percent rise from 10 years ago. And 93 percent said they cook more now.
While this is interesting data indeed, women beg to differ. The problem with the MH data is that only men were surveyed.
In surveys where both men and women were interviewed, women are still the primary shoppers — though the number of males buying groceries is definitely on the rise. Huff Post attributed changing relationships and gender roles to the increasingly-close gap.
Skewed though the results were, the MH study nevertheless sheds light on changing grocery patterns. The survey also mentions that men shop differently than women. The fresh food industry is taking notice, and grocery stores are redesigning their displays to adapt to the different ways men and women shop.
This is important information for food manufacturers and supermarkets. With more women in the workforce today and more people embracing single life, traditional roles and domestic duties have shifted — and along with them, grocery shoppers have changed as well.
Millennial men are more likely to shop and cook for themselves and are establishing themselves as expert gastronomes. They are less into meal planning and more into short-term shopping. They are more likely to grab what they need for the next meal or two rather than roam the aisles and shop for the whole week. They typically stick to known brands despite cost rather than experiment with new stuff. They are mostly quick shoppers, who like to get in and out of the store without being distracted.
Man-friendly marketing needs to cater to these quick shoppers and gauge what their impulse purchases will be. Products that are most visible on supermarket shelves and designed to be eye-catching will be their obvious choices. Products that save prep time and offer easy cooking options need to dominate these shelves so that male shoppers have a more seamless and enjoyable experience.
Food companies are now recalibrating their marketing approaches, both for the gender switch and for modern shoppers. Grocery stores and supermarkets are also rearranging their aisles so that male shoppers can find what they want right away.
Some examples of male-centric marketing themes include displays and signage to spark meal ideas. Others include grouping related items like meats and sauces, or salads and dressings together. Food packaging is beginning to reflect more testosterone-fueled words like strong, robust and powerful, and bolder, darker colors are more visible as opposed to the pastel hues.
Along with the brick-and-mortar marketing campaigns, changes are needed in online shopping, too. Studies show that men aged 18-44 or 60 percent of millennial men are the largest groups of online shoppers. With grocery e-commerce taking off, food businesses have to opt for holistic rebranding that will help target online and in-store shoppers well, across genders.
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