Noticed anything different at the supermarket? If you’re near a Lowe’s Foods in the Southeast, you might smell SausageWorks, an in-store bratwurst creation station.
In other national chains, the Wall Street Journal reports, you might see beer dens, butchery classes – even “more masculine” floral arrangements.
These efforts reflect a fact of life all across the country: both men and women are walking down grocery store aisles in equal proportion. 51% female to 49% male to be exact, according to research group Videomining.
Why? The reasons are numerous. Evolving gender roles yes, an increase in non-traditional households, of course, and even a trend towards getting married later. But while changes in society have gotten everyone shopping – in-store and online – behavior is vastly different once you get there.
Men shop with single-minded intention. According to The Hartman Group, female shoppers are more likely to browse, while male shoppers tend to take a “search and retrieve” approach to pick up predetermined items.
Men shop for now, women shop for later. As David Steward, a Marketing Professor at Loyola Marymount University, puts it “Men think short term. They want to kill something quickly, drag it out and feel successful, while women are thinking ahead and planning accordingly.” (This may also explain why women make grocery lists and men just, “remember.”)
Men spend less time overall in stores.This is directly related to the first point (if you buy less it doesn’t take as long), but it also reflects a more utilitarian approach to shopping. Case in point:
“I just want grocery stores to be rational.” Brad H. says, a 40-year-old father to be and primary shopper in his household. “No random association. Alphabetical would be best. Apples. Apricots. Blueberries…”
Men are more visually oriented.At a recent "Men's Meat-Up" at Pre headquarters, for which we partnered with lululemon to host a cooking and nutrition workshop for male trainers and athletes in Chicago, our packaging was called out as a game-changer (no pun intended) in the meat aisle.
“I like your packaging because it’s clean and crisp.”, said one trainer, “I see exactly what I’m getting. Same every time.”
Men buy more meat and alcohol than women do….now.While this may not be a surprise, guys should know that women are close behind, purchasing red meat, whiskey and Old Spice in increasing numbers. (Kidding about that last item.)
Men care too.They read labels and want to know about “sourcing” and ingredients, nutrition and transparency. Maybe it's the influence of Millennials, but everyone wants products, particularly meats and packaged fresh foods that taste good, are good for you and that you can feel good about eating.
And we couldn't be happier.
PS. New research shows that at the dawn of time, hunter-gatherer societies were much more egalitarian than we thought. So there.