Men Gaining Health Confidence in the Supermarket: 50% say they purchase fruits and vegetables for their household

October 26, 2012

A SupermarketGuru poll suggests that men are becoming more interested in providing healthy servings of fruits and vegetables for themselves and their households.

A recent study published in August of this year in the journal Appetite, suggests that men are less likely than women to perceive fruits and vegetables as an important part of maintaining good health. The study examined data from nearly 3,400 people that participated in a National Cancer Institute's Food Attitudes and Behavior survey from 2007, and found that women were much more inclined to agree with the facts that surround fruit and vegetable intake and their health benefits, and in addition, exhibited more confidence in their abilities to consume snacks of fruits and vegetables.

Last month, SupermarketGuru conducted a survey of a consumer panel consisting of men and women with a male in their household to find out more. Here's what was found.

When asked which statement best applies to your fruit and vegetable consumption or the male in your household, the SG results showed that a majority of men and the people in their households believe they consume enough produce. Thirty-nine percent said, "I am a man, and I do eat enough fruits and vegetables." And another 16% said, "I am a man, and I do not eat enough." For the females answering based on a male in their household, 28% said, "He does eat enough fruits and vegetables," and 17% said the male in their household "does not eat enough."  

The survey also asked about habits of males when it comes to shopping for food. Results revealed that 44% of the panel are men that buy all or most of the food eaten at home. Only 10% said they are a man and do little to none of the food shopping. Even more interesting, when asked who buys most of the fruits and vegetables for your household, the panel was evenly split between male and female, 50/50.

Another positive result that came out of the poll is that 56% said they try to incorporate fruits or vegetables in every meal! Another 36% said once or twice a day.

SG wanted to find out what types of foods with fruits and vegetables men are more likely to buy. Below are the top ten answers:

1. Fresh fruits - 84%
2. Fresh vegetables - 80%
3. Frozen vegetables - 60%
4. Fruit juices - 57%
5. Soups - 57%
6. Yogurts with added fruit - 41%
7. Canned vegetables - 38%
8. Vegetable juices - 33%
9. Frozen fruits - 29%
10. Deli/prepared foods with fruits and vegetables - 23%

As more men take on roles in the household traditionally held by women, like food shopping and preparing meals, it could be possible that the result is a higher interest and attention to a proper diet. Thirty-six percent of the panel said, "I am a man, and I eat a well-balanced diet without anyone's help." And 23% said, "A male in my household consistently eats enough fruits and vegetables.

What retailers can take away from these results is the opportunity to leverage an increased confidence by men to make healthier purchases. Supermarkets can embrace male shoppers by getting the message out that they are paying attention to nutritional needs specific to men and the households for which they shop.