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Consumer behavior expert weighs in on survey suggesting more men are grocery shopping than ever before

A man shops at a Manhattan grocery store March 17, 2009 in New York City.
A man shops at a Manhattan grocery store March 17, 2009 in New York City.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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A new survey out from Men’s Health shows a surprisingly large number of men now see themselves as the primary grocery shopper in their household as compared to 10 years ago.

The survey showed that 84 percent of men polled say they do the shopping for their house, which is up 19 percent compared to a decade ago. It’s important to note that the survey only polled men, and that other surveys still show that women make up the majority of primary shoppers, but the gap isn’t as big as it once was.

Consumer behavior experts say contributing factors could be that traditional gender roles are shifting, and as a result, so is household division of labor. Men typically wait longer to get married and thus have to shop for themselves while single. If they do settle down, they bring that meal prep experience to the marriage and may become involved in weekly meal preparation. And with social media cooking videos from sites like Buzzfeed and others gaining popularity, younger men are typically more interested in cooking. However, there are still stark differences in how men and women go about shopping. Men tend to be more focused on the present, buying only what’s needed for right then. Women tend to plan long-term and more likely buy groceries on one or two week loads.

Do you agree with the survey findings, or do you still see more women shopping than men? Who is the primary shopper in your household, and why? How do you decide? And how do you shop – for the here and now or thinking long-term?


David Stewart, professor of marketing and business law at Loyola Marymount University