Grocery Shopping Preferences Differ Among Men, Women: NPD Group

As domestic gender roles continue to blur, the industry is seeing a further divide between the way men and women shop for groceries, according to a new report by The NPD Group.

A male represents the primary grocery shopper in about four in 10 households across the U.S., the report found, representing 40 million households – 16 percent of which comprise only one person.

Additionally, convenience plays a larger role in homes in which the male is the primary grocery shopper, versus those homes in which women shop most often, according to NPD's "The New Grocery Shopper" report. In the same vein, prepared foods are more often purchased by male consumers, as such foods require little to no effort. Male shoppers are also less interested in the consumption of better-for-you foods or avoidance of certain foods than are women 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,” said 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.”

Men and women also differ regarding the use of shopping lists. 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.

Seifer added, “Just as there are slow shifts in consumption behaviors over time, so are there slow shifts in who does the grocery shopping. 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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