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How Men Buy Groceries - and How Stores Are Taking Note


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Cut Your Grocery Bill by Up to 50%

By Krystal Steinmetz

Men and women are different, certainly when it comes to what they put in their grocery shopping carts. While women's carts tend to be packed with produce, snacks and sweets, men's baskets tend to contain more meat and booze.

That's according to the new Food Shopping in America study, conducted by The Hartman Group and food and nutrition marketing agency MSLGroup. The study revealed that men are doing more grocery shopping than before. In fact, men now make up 43 percent of primary shoppers.

On average, Americans do some type of grocery shopping three times a week, whether online or at convenience stores, mass merchandise or grocer stores, or other venues. The study revealed that men and women are doing the same amount of grocery shopping, which is a marked change from past years.

Men and women grocery shop in different ways. While many women browse, "men prefer to simply 'search and retrieve' the few items they need," the study said. Because convenience is important, men also tend to shop at club, convenience and online stores. Men are less price-sensitive, while women tend to scout for the best deals.

Going After the Male Shopper

"Don't mistake their lack of planning for lack of caring or think they are willing to accept items of lesser quality with higher price tags," says Laurie Demeritt, president of The Hartman Group. "To engage with male shoppers, brands and retailers should offer tools and services to help them quickly and effortlessly locate and buy items."

Many food brands are now taking note of the male shopper, who has been mostly ignored in the past. According to The Washington Post, some brands are introducing flavors that they hope will appeal to the male taste buds. "Kraft updated some products [in 2014] to make them palatable to millennial men, adding a Hot Habanero flavor of sliced cheese and a Chipotle flavor of its Planters peanuts. Campbell's has added a Beer-n-Cheese with Beef & Bacon flavor Chunky soup to appeal to the bold tastes the company says it has found men prefer. ... Ball Park launched Park's Finest, a new line of premium hot dogs that includes strong flavors such as Cracked Dijon Mustard and Slow Smoked Hickory. The company has dubbed its target customer "the grill-master guy," a confident, savvy chef who takes great pride in his skills behind the grill."

The study's definition of the male shopper fits my husband to a T. He only goes to the grocery store with a list (usually created by me), and he comes home with those items and nothing more. I often give him grief because he purchases more expensive product brands than I do when I shop. His argument: that he buys the first product he sees, without checking its price. Needless to say, I do 95 percent of the grocery shopping in our house.

Men, do you think your habits fit with the study's findings? Share your comments below or on the Money Talks News Facebook page.


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