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CHICAGO — The differences between men and women extend to the way they shop for groceries, according to The New Grocery Shopper report by The NPD Group. Data shows that a man is the primary grocery shopper in about four in 10 U.S. households, or more than 40 million households. Sixteen percent of these households have only one person.
When examining the foods and beverages in homes in which a man is the primary grocery shopper, NPD found that convenience plays a greater role than in homes in which a woman is the primary shopper. Prepared foods are purchased more often by male primary grocery shoppers, giving them the opportunity to acquire foods that require little to no effort.
Male grocery shoppers are also less interested in the consumption of better-for-you foods or avoidance of certain foods.
"Food makers, who are reaching male grocery shoppers with packaging and marketing, need to keep in mind that it's not just younger males shopping, it's also men over 55 who have different needs and motivations," stated Darren Seifer, NPD's food and beverage industry analyst. "A deeper understanding of each male shopper age group is necessary for companies that want their messages and products to appeal to men."
Gender also comes into play in the use of grocery lists, according to the research. Roughly eight in 10 people use a grocery list when shopping some of the time, but the degree to which men and women use a list varies. Women rely more heavily on their lists than men do, and use paper lists more often. Both genders use electronic lists on a phone or tablet at equal rates, particularly shoppers aged 18 to 34.
"Just as there are slow shifts in consumption behaviors over time, so are there slow shifts in who does the grocery shopping," Seifer said. "While men make up more than their fair share of people who say grocery shopping is a chore, the fact remains they're doing it more often, which means that different dynamics are coming into play."