For years, the primary family grocery shopper has usually been the female head of the household. No surprise,
especially in the 60’s and 70’s, when most women were stay at home moms. Yet, as women have forged their own careers, to the surprise of many, there hasn’t been more emphasis placed on the male grocery shopper. Should marketers not seek out this shopper?  They do represent 50% of the Canadian population. So why has the male shopper become so prominent in the grocery store and what are their shopping habits?


Emergence of the Male Grocery Shopper

The male grocery shopper is out of hibernation. Mintel Global Research estimates approximately 40% of household men have taken over the responsibility for grocery shopping. When you factor in the 20% of households in which it is a shared duty, 60% of the Canadian households in Canada have men who either have a primary or shared responsibility for grocery shopping in the household. So why are men playing such a predominant role in grocery shopping? Outlined below are a couple of theories:

  1. Growing number of single person households in Canada due to later marrying ages and high divorce rates.
  2. Men are taking a larger role in the management of the household. Today 12% of the households have a stay at home dad.
  3. Baby boomer males – 45% claim to have primary responsibility for grocery shopping.


How Frequent Does the Male Visit a Grocery Store and Where Do They Shop?

Men and women both love to go grocery shopping. Both genders average close to 15 visits a month. To many people’s surprise, the male shopper goes grocery shopping 2x / week – 65% of the time as compared to 58% of the time for women. They are also more inclined to shop the club, convenience and online channels in part because these channels allow them to quickly purchase what they require.


Grocery Shopping Frequency

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Insights into the Male Shopper!

Though men and women tend to shop as often on a weekly basis, research studies over the years have identified there are a few differences between how men and women shop.

  • Men are less inclined to prepare a shopping list.
  • Men grocery shoppers prefer a grab-n-go approach. 60% of men wish to get in and out of the store as quickly as possible.
  • Men are less inclined to make impulse purchases.
  • Men are less price sensitive; consequently, they are less likely to be motivated by discounts and promotions.
  • 50% of men prefer a one-stop-shop more than the lowest price.
  • Men are more interested in quality food, artisan products and ethnic flavours.


Implications For Small Business 

Business can no longer only gear their marketing strategies to attract the female shopper. The male shopper has arrived. As they are less price sensitive, business will be forced to concentrate on their brands point of difference as opposed to just relying on price reductions and promotions to drive volume. In today’s grocery economy, a brands point of differential is key.

So, does your business have an understanding of the male shopper? Do not ignore them as    this could mean the difference between success and failure for your brand.


For more help Getting and Staying Listed in Canada’s Grocery Sector, connect with us through our website: or give us a call toll free: 1-844-206-FOOD (3662).