Men's shopping habits mirror women's, SymphonyIRI finds

New study 'shatters stereotype'

CHICAGO — Men shop, too, SymphonyIRI Group asserted in the release of its latest demographic shopper study titled “Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus … Or Maybe Not?” on Monday.

“Our research shatters the stereotype of clueless men wandering around a grocery store,” SymphonyIRI SVP marketing John McIndoe said. “During the recent recession, men adopted money-saving strategies that point to deliberate and well-thought-out grocery purchase processes that are worth noting so that [consumer packaged goods] marketers can connect with male shoppers more effectively.”

For example, men may never ask for directions on how to get to the grocery store, but once there, they are shopping off a list, SymphonyIRI found. Nearly two-thirds of male shoppers are making shopping lists before entering the grocery store. A few surprising list-making behaviors included:

  • 56% of men listed categories to buy (e.g., coffee, frozen pizza or toothpaste);
  • 16% of men listed specific brands to buy; and
  • 12% of men listed specific private-label and store brands to buy.

“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. “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.”

Other economic-driven adaptations men are making are:

  • 54% of men eat out less often;

  • 44% of men make cleaning products last longer;

  • 27% of men go to the doctor less often and are self-treating more; and

  • 19% of men use at-home beauty treatments more (e.g., hair coloring and facials).

SymphonyIRI will be showcasing its male demographical shopping research during a free, 30-minute webinar power session June 8. To register for the webinar, click here.

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