Refrigerator and pantry stock differ in male- and female-led households

Articles
September 21, 2009

Refrigerator and pantry stock differ in male- and female-led households

Are men as shallow and decadent as countless divorcees have alleged through the years, as women repeatedly say on dating sites, as some males brag - and as one narrow list of Nielsen data might suggest?

Are men as shallow and decadent as countless divorcees have alleged through the years, as women repeatedly say on dating sites, as some males brag - and as one narrow list of Nielsen data might suggest?

For fun, let's look at this small portion of the Nielsen Homescan data for 2008. In U.S. households where there is no female head, nine items index between 200 and 290 (where average U.S. household use equals a measure of 100). They are: men's hair coloring (290), gin (263), cigars (258), men's depilatories (230), scotch (218), men's hair preparations (210), pre-shave cosmetics (210), canned grapefruit juice (205), and bourbon (200).

A lot of appearance and pleasure items, for sure. And these adult men have company in their pursuits, since by definition females (wives, girlfriends, moms, daughters) can live in and spend time in these households too.

Once we get past party time, however, some interesting differences in the food and beverage indexes of men- and women-led households emerge. Looking at staples, for example:

  • Fresh produce indexes between 107 and 116 among households led by women age 35 and older, compared with 71 in households lacking a female head. The most extreme contrast: fresh cranberries index as high as 180 in households led by women 65 and older vs. 67 in male-led households.  Guys' favorite fruit might well be grapefruit, which indexes at 113 in households they lead vs.128-150 among households led by women 55 and older.
  • Meat indexes between 92 and 121 among households led by women age 64 and younger vs. 75 in households without a female head. The packaged deli meat indexing highest in guy-lead households is refrigerated canned ham at 95; by contrast, it indexes between 152 and 154 in households led by women age 55 and older. Fresh meat indexes highest among households led by women 54 and younger, between 116 and 133; among male-led households, it's a mere 64.
  • Hard cheeses index highest in households led by women age 44 and younger, between 124 and 127; these segments alone account for 40% of category dollar sales. By contrast, male-led households index at 68 and contribute just 14% of category dollar sales.
  • The buying profile for refrigerated juices and drinks is quite similar for both male- and female-led households. The category indexes at 98 where guys lead (19% of category dollar sales) compared with a range between 95 and 104 among female-led households of all adult ages.
  • While younger female-led households (age 54 and under) account for 60% of milk dollar sales and index between 105 and 125, the male led-households index far lower at 74 and contribute just 15% of the category's dollar sales.
  • Cereal indexes high between 123 and 129 among households led by women 44 and younger (40% of category dollar sales), while male-led households index at a mere 68 and generate just 14% of category dollar sales.
  • Pasta indexes between 115 and 131 among households led by females 55 and younger, which account for 64% of category dollar sales; by contrast, in male-led households, the index is 63 (12% of dollar sales).