Dads In The Aisles

The Lempert Report
July 14, 2015

These days, men are central to the buying and preparing of healthier, spicier, more adventurous and multicultural home menu choices.

According to the 2015 National Grocers Association-SupermarketGuru Consumer Survey Report, three-quarters of males (73.2%) say they’re cooking at home more the past two years - and an even higher proportion (82.6%) feel this experience improves their meal preparation skills. As a result, at last count, 57.6% of consumers state they feel “confident in the kitchen.”

Part of this transformation in the home may be due to the fact that following the shock of 82% of job losses in the recession, employment opportunities in government, construction and other largely male sectors continue to shrink. One result of this, from NPD Group, is that men now comprise 41% of all primary grocery shoppers.

The latest available Census Bureau data show that 24.7 million dads are part of married-couple families with children younger than 18, that 18% of preschoolers are regularly cared for by their dads during their mother’s working hours, that the nation now has 211,000 stay-at-home dads who’ve been out of the labor force at least a year primarily so they could care for their family while the wife works outside the home, and that 16% of single parents are men (1.9 million in 2014).

So what does all this mean for supermarkets?  To earn business from dads, supermarkets and brands need to respect men as shoppers. For example,  highlight food for male health (seafood rich in zinc and omega-3s, produce loaded with lycopene, nuts for fiber and minerals). Foods for bold tastes (craft beers, spicy, ethnic ingredients). Destination fun (in-store bars, special events for dogs). And let’s not forget time-saving options, say online ordering with store pickup, or home delivery). Retailers cannot forget how to identify with men and the needs of this growing customer base.