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Time To Man-Up!

Jamie Allebach
Jamie Allebach Chief Executive & Creative Officer

I hope there’s no one reading this article who is still targeting women 25-54, to advertise their food or beverage brand. If you are, please call me. I can help.

Look, it’s definitive, men are doing 50% of the shopping and meal preparation for households. It’s a fact. Some research even shows that men far exceed 50%. There is TONS of research out there that supports this, going back nearly 10 years. And, if you’re curious enough, start keeping track, as you’re doing your own shopping. I have.1

Many food brands, such as Kraft Heinz, General Mills, Campbell’s, Tyson, and many others have been trying to woo the man shopper for years. In most cases, it’s the mid-sized brands who haven’t quite gotten this yet and are still fixated on female shoppers as their primary target audience.

Grocery stores have also been slowly evolving to influence male shoppers — with simple, but effective strategies like organizing aisles and displays for the mission-oriented male shopper, like “here’s everything you need for the school lunchbox” or looking for a complete, easy dinner?”

Men are radically different shoppers than women. Men like to buy “more.” Kinda that fear of starving mentality. They also prefer to hunt shop alone. But one of the most important things to brands, men tend to buy “in the moment.” Making impulse imperative for brands trying to capture the male shopper—as hunters, they shop by sight. Men are not strategic, when it comes to food shopping. They typically don’t have a game plan. (bonus tip: if you’re selling meat, men always go for the more expensive cuts.)

Why are more men shopping than ever before in our history? Many of the reasons are obvious…the clear shift in gender roles—sharing all tasks. Millennials are putting off marriage until they’re older, so men are single longer. And, men have become “foodies” and cooks—they are passionate about food—trying new food, experimenting with flavors.

Another key factor is; more men are working from home, new non-traditional families, more women breadwinners, and men just stepping-up to fill in the gaps.

So, what’s the bottom line? Am I advocating to shift your ad budget to a male-centric demographic? No way. Not unless you have a brand that is targeted only to men. I’m simply pointing out that we are living in a new era of food and beverage shopping—no longer exclusively targeted to the female shopper, age 25-54. In fact, if you’ve been a follower of my writings for any period of time, you would know that I don’t believe that the bulk of your ad budget should be targeted towards male or female. You should always be targeting the category buyers. But that’s another article.

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