Men's and women’s grocery habits not so different, finds Symphony IRI

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An increasing number of men is responsible for grocery shopping – and marketers should educate themselves on how to connect with them, says a new paper from market research organization Symphony IRI.

In a ‘point of view’ document​, called “Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus…Or Maybe Not?”​, the market researcher suggests that men and women share many attitudinal and behavioral similarities in the grocery store, but it also found some behaviors that were more prevalent in men, such as listing items by category (56 percent of men vs. 51 percent of women), and listing specific private label items to buy (12 percent vs. 8 percent).

Senior vice president of marketing at SymphonyIRI John McIndoe said:

“In fact, in many regards, men shop similarly to women. That said, as with any consumer segment, it is the knowledge of nuanced differences that separates the wheat from the chaff. CPG marketers must evaluate the rituals, attitudes and behaviors of male shoppers very closely and understand how these factors impact each aspect of the decision and purchase process for their own categories and brands.”

The market researcher also found that only slightly fewer men than women make purchase decisions for consumer packaged goods (CPG) in the household – 71 percent compared to 75 percent.

There may be some difference between the sexes when it comes to recessionary spending, however, with men making fewer behavioral changes in their grocery shopping habits during the recession than women.

“Overall, men have adopted a wide range of money-saving rituals and shopping strategies in much greater numbers than the traditional stereotype of the male shopper would indicate,”​ McIndoe said.

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