Welcome the first generation of men who actually participate in grocery shopping! More than half of men ages 18-64 identify themselves as primary grocery shoppers in their households. According to most leading experts in men’s research, however, men tend to overstate their role. Behavioral studies that monitored actual activity vs. reported, show that only 35% of grocery and mass shoppers are men, and men account for only 38% of spending. According to Mintel:
- Men tend to shop alone for quick trips vs. big trips.
- Men are more likely to shop alone on quick trips (80% of men make trips for less than 5 items).
- Men are more likely to shop with someone else for big food trips (56% make trips for 16+ items with someone).
Millennial men are participating in meal planning and shopping at a higher rate than other generations. Tighter budgets are forcing more involvement and discussions on shopping. Interestingly, as Millennials’ schedules grow busier, going grocery shopping is viewed as “spending time together” with their friends and family, a high priority. Millennials are also getting married later in life. which presumably means that Millennial men are fending for themselves longer than men in the past.
Engagement in shopping could also be driven by the fact that more Millennial men are finding enjoyment in cooking. More Millennial men claim they “love to cook and consider myself and expert” and “…enjoy cooking and being creative in the kitchen.”* This is in contrast to non-Millennial men, who are more likely to claim “I don’t mind cooking, it’s just one of those things I do.”
This is a significant perception change in attitudes towards cooking and one that has been directly driven by the changes in the economy and as Millennials turn to cooking and entertaining as a way to experience new, inexpensive social activities, which they previously would have sought at restaurants.
This will be an important trend to monitor as Millennials move into older life stages. Millennial men may just become the secondary target of the future.