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Women Love Practical Brands, Men Indulge Themselves More

Maybe men and women are both from Venus, with men getting the Glenlivet delivered there surreptitiously? The role of women as purchasers in households is becoming larger as they become sole breadwinners in more of them. Fortunately, Nielsen has some new data that bifurcates brand loyalty by sex.

The stakes are high for CPG brands, given that, in Western Europe alone, there were 12,000 launches in 4 markets across 17 product categories between 2011 and 2013, per a June report by Nielsen. The report says that in the U.S. there have been 20,000 launches since 2008. The good news for established brands is that trust is a factor in sales and market share. Nearly 6 in 10 global respondents (59%) to a study last year by Nielsen said they prefer to buy new products from brands familiar to them.

For women, now breadwinners in 40% of U.S. households with children (and therefore controlling $4.3 trillion, or 73% of U.S. spending, per Nielsen) trusted CPG brands are those daily-use products providing convenience and delivering against household health. For men, the study shows, the trusted brand list comprises a more diverse set of labels around health, technology and self indulgence. The top ten includes products like Glenlivet and Ghirardelli, and is marked by both practicality and pleasure. Nielsen says that, globally, sales of both healthy and indulgent categories grew over a two-year period, but growth in healthy categories outpaced indulgent categories (+5% and +2%, respectively).

Band-Aid is near the top of both gender lists, being number one for men and two for women, after Ziploc. For men, the second most trusted brand is Heinz ketchup, then Neosporin antiseptic, Reynolds aluminum foil, Duracell batteries, Ticonderoga pencils, Glenlivet Single Malt, Energizer batteries, Ghirardelli chocolate, and Scotch tape. For women, after Band-Aid are Reynolds Aluminum, Neosporin, Dawn dish soap, Kleenex facial tissues, Sharpie markers, Q-Tips, Clorox, Tide laundry detergent. 

These brands are faring well against the proliferation of generic and store-owned brands. Nearly three-quarters of global respondents (71%) said private-label quality has improved over time. But “we tend to see private-label growth come at the expense of small- and mid-sized brands, while category leaders remain relatively safe,” says the report. Still, last year private label products accounted for $1 of every $3 spent in the CPG market across Europe, per Nielsen. 

The Nielsen poll, performed by Harris EquiTrend, is based on a total sample of 88,609 U.S. consumers ages 15 and over surveyed online between June and July this year. The total number of brands rated was 2,267. Each respondent was asked to rate a total of 40 randomly selected brands.

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