Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus When It Comes to Grocery Shopping, Reports NPD

Chicago, September 9, 2014 —Men and women think differently as author John Gray famously points out in his best-seller, “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus,” and this difference extends to how they grocery shop, finds a new report by The NPD Group, a leading global information company. Insights from the NPD report show that 41 percent of males say that they do all or almost all of the grocery shopping in their household, which represents more than 40 million households. Sixteen percent of those households have only one person.

When examining the foods and beverages in homes in which the male is the primary grocery shopper, convenience plays a greater role than those homes in which women are the primary shopper, according to NPD’s The New Grocery Shopper report. Prepared foods are purchased more often by male primary grocery shoppers, affording 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 than are women grocery shoppers.

“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,” says Darren Seifer, NPD 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. Around 8 out of 10 people use a grocery list when shopping at least some of the time, but the degree to which males and females use a list varies. Females rely more heavily on their lists than males and use paper lists more. However, both genders use electronic lists on a phone or tablet equally, particularly those shoppers 18-34 year-olds, according to the report.

“Just as there are slow shifts in consumption behaviors over time, so are there slow shifts in who does the grocery shopping,” says Seifer. “While men make up more than their fair share of people who say grocery shopping is a chore, the fact remains that they’re doing it more often, which means that different dynamics are coming into play.”

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Kim McLynn
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