Let’s revisit one of my favorites…
Long gone are the days that I get to just walk down the grocery aisle giving that silent, “I know what you’re going through” nod to all the other women pushing their carts around like me. Now I’ve had to trade in my sweat pants for something more publicly acceptable, and worst yet, put on make-up! Why you ask? There are men there!! Real men ladies…. And not just a few straggling behind women with blank stares on their faces either. Nothing this horrific would have happened in my day I tell you. Women shopped and the kids unloaded the car…real simple. (Maybe I didn’t really think the whole Helen Reddy, I am Women Hear Me Roar, era thingy through clearly enough before I joined the band wagon back in the 70’s. I guess I have no one to blame but myself.)
Truth be told, these men crowding the aisles have very little to do with equality and much more to do with shifting tides of the millennial family dynamics. Look around…there are a lot of fairly young guys in the store these days, unmarried young guys at that. I’ve read lots of the research and contributing factors to the delays in getting married, all fairly valid, but the bottom line is only 30% of 20 to 30 year-olds were married, compared to the 60’s when that number peaked at 77%. So, for these guys they are forging the “friends” are my family dynamic.
Now we have the couples with kids running around. Of that group 70% of both parents hold down full time jobs. So it stands to reason that mom isn’t home eating Bon Bon’s and shopping any longer…(Yes, I’m very sarcastic by nature) Millennial dads are unique in that they really don’t play by the old school rules of gender roles.
Fatherhood looks a little different to them. They spend more time with their kids and are taking over a huge chunk of the household shopping….and boy can they spend. (I’ll get more into that in a bit) Men around the country have taken the shopping cart by the horns and wrestled it to the ground….even identifying themselves as the head shopper in charge. Whether it’s a shared responsibility or not, we can’t ignore the fact that the percentage of male shoppers have doubled. Retail Food Marketing Trends in the U.S.:Technology, Mobile, and Social Media.
And boy do they shop differently than women! They definitely shop more frequently than their counterparts…..and they spend more every trip! Those buggies may not be as full, but, they are still spending more….Retailers everywhere celebrate, men are lowering the item count and raising the average cost per item. It’s a retailers dream. And best yet, millennial men average 4 or more trips a week folks. (I’d be caught dead first…bad choice of words at my age)
So what is the take away? Grocery retailers have a huge opportunity to market to men these days. Young unmarried male Millennials wandering the aisles all chipper and smiles, not afraid to spend a little more money and Millennial dads who apparently put more value on quality than they do finding a good deal. So the next time you’re building that endcap, or setting a new display, keep the men in mind…they are worth the investment.
Blue Skies Everyone!