Women: more responsibilities, and more responsible

Women achieve more today—yet still take on food and home tasks.

May 28, 2013

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

A fresh look at women in post-recession America—after millions of men lost their jobs and the squeeze on the middle class grew tighter—shows seven out of 10 women “work out of economic necessity” and four out 10 are “sole providers for their households.”  Women comprise the majority of college students and earn most of the advance degrees today.

Yet despite these time and financial pressures, at least two-thirds of women say they are still the chief grocery shoppers, meal preparers, house cleaners, launderers and overall shoppers for their households.

This broad picture shown by Today’s Primary Shopper—the latest Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) study of 1,000 U.S. women conducted by GfK Custom Research North America—further describes their diligence at food and home tasks, even as they achieve and assume more responsibilities.   As such, they remain the most important target audience for brands and stores.

According to what women told GfK, these are some of the key specific findings:

  • Three out of four women do more than 50% of the grocery shopping for their households, and two out of three do at least 75% of shopping.
  • 90.5% shop in the supermarket at least a few times a month; 79.5% go to a large discount store; 77.9% visit a wholesale club.
  • 40% average about an hour inside the store per trip.
  • 51.8% “always” make a shopping list – this is the only planning task done all the time by a majority of women.
  • 48.4% try to shop as quickly as possible, but comparing item prices to get the best value (44.8%) adds time to the trip.
  • 44.7% buy store brands frequently – and nearly twice that percentage buy them “occasionally or more often.”
  • 72.5% of households eat at home together at least three times a week, 52.1% five times a week.
  • An overwhelming 84.4% bear the responsibility of making meals.
  • More than eight out of 10 women feel they’re superior than men at planning grocery shopping, choosing healthier products, benefiting from coupons and ads.
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