More Guys In Grocery Aisles With Higher Brand Affinity

Goodbye, macho; hello, mensch. A new kind of guy is emerging -- one who does the shopping, and not just for beer, chips and maybe a carrot if bothered to buy it. Defy Media’s second annual Acumen Report: Brand New Man, tapping something over 2,000 men ages 18-49, suggests that men are becoming household helpers, perhaps as they are supplanted at work by women -- a big change from household engagement meaning coming home for dinner now and then. 

The study shows that men, as they become more involved with household duties, are also becoming more involved in shopping and brand choices. In the study, based on an online panel performed by Hunter Qualitative Research, more than 65% of respondents said they now hold primary shopping responsibility for several household product categories, with 67% saying they enjoy shopping for the household, and close to 63% open to choosing new brands.   



About 54% of surveyed men said they shop for groceries and household supplies more often than their spouses, with many saying they are the decision makers when it comes to grocery shopping as well. Fifty percent said their spouses do not tell them what brands to buy, and nearly 70% said they are willing to sacrifice career advancement for more time with family. “Part of being a man is taking care of family and those around you” was averred by over 90% of the panel.  

Said Andy Tu, EVP of marketing for Defy Media: “We found that men are not only purchasing in greater numbers, but in many cases they are the ones actually making the brand decisions. They get their cues from a variety of sources, but friends and family still wield the most influence with digital connections coming in close behind, especially with the younger generation." 

About 40% of men noted they became aware of a new brand from advertising; and about 24% said they were apprised about a brand from a YouTube video, and about 28% from social media.

They are also eschewing the stereotype of the guy who won’t ask directions: the study shows that more will seek advice with an average 32% asking store employees for guidance and nearly half  turning to friends or family. 

About a quarter of respondents got information via a mobile device while on site at the store, 31% read online reviews and about 26% watched a video on YouTube during the research process. About 26% of men 18-34 reported using online reviews to research a new brand compared to their 35-49-year-old counterparts at just 21%. 

About half of respondents said they make purchases based on the brand’s story or history and over half because it was made locally. Close to 57% said they would stop buying from a company that did something offensive or illegal.

“The idea that men are mindless, robotic, or powerless in their decisions about shopping and brand decisions is antiquated,” said Tu.

9 comments about "More Guys In Grocery Aisles With Higher Brand Affinity".
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  1. Ted Rubin from The Rubin Organization / Return on Relationship, February 25, 2014 at 8:30 a.m.

    I would love to hear what the men say when their wives are sitting next to them while being asked. I believe this number is skewed very high due to the circumstances of the questioning. Women are still driving the decision making for household products no matter who is doing the shopping. Men just like to think and say they are making so many more of these decisions. Certainly they are making more than in the past, but not nearly what they are claiming.

  2. Jennifer Nelson from Haworth Marketing & Media, February 25, 2014 at 4:17 p.m.

    In our research, we've found that while men are doing more shopping than ever before, there is a difference between perception and reality when it comes to who is calling the brand shots. In other words, men think they are making decisions all by themselves, but they really aren't. (Sorry, guys!) Regardless, marketers still need to broaden their horizons from women to all adults.

  3. Karl Greenberg from MediaPost, February 25, 2014 at 11:05 p.m.

    Well, as a man who does the shopping at times, I can tell you woe be unto me if I should forget the parsnips, or the lettuce. I have free will…up to a point.

  4. Karl Greenberg from MediaPost, February 25, 2014 at 11:06 p.m.

    And the guy's expression on caption photo says it all. "Gee, if I buy this will I be sleeping on the sidewalk tonight?

  5. Karl Greenberg from MediaPost, February 26, 2014 at 11:22 a.m.

    yeah I agree with that. good questions. I'll circle back and look at the data again

  6. Erik Sass from none, February 26, 2014 at 12:54 p.m.

    Men might think they are "choosing" the brands because they are simply looking at the brands they have in the house and getting more of the same… which was previously selected by the woman of the house.

  7. Nichole Becker from Defy Media, March 3, 2014 at 3:33 p.m.

    Erik, I would love to hear more about your theory of men looking at brands in the house and getting more of the same. What about men who live alone or with roommates? Any thoughts on how they're making brand choices? FYI-- The categories we studied were grooming products, non-alcoholic beverages, snack foods, candy/confections, beer, and liquor--which may not have been noted in the article.

  8. Steve Aleksich from Del Monte Foods, March 15, 2014 at 7:54 a.m.

    The times they are a changin' - many of the posts want to dismiss the research. - HH continue to change - people are waiting longer to get married - many men who come from military backgrounds are used to Brand only affinity items - that would also apply to their significant others as well - there continues to be a new normal - get used to it - some of us guys just like to have a say in the shopping - much of this information rings true to me.

  9. Brian Moore from EMR-namnewsLtd, June 1, 2014 at 3:27 a.m.

    Might be worth filtering 'men' to focus on behaviour of those of us in the business....
    In other words I have been banished from family shopping trips because I apparently slow down the process due to my 'obsession' with unit-price comparison combined with helpful comments.....

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