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Men With Sacks: Gender Issues in Food Marketing

Men With Sacks: Gender Issues in Food Marketing

According to the recent 'Men on Mission' survey, men are more and more involved in groceries: companies are taking notice and adapting their targets.

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Numbers speak clearly: more and more men handle the house groceries, especially in the United States. Supermarket shelves, however, still speak to women only. Companies are getting aware of it and making changes accordingly. Neutral publicity and packaging, these were the main aims. Now there is also talk of products for men only. According to last December's survey Men on mission, by Daymon Worldwide - a leader in brand development and consumer interaction - in the States about 52% of men buy 78% of the groceries when it comes to their own household, half of these men go on a mission for a specific product.

Usually, some products are embarrassing for them to buy. A Yahoo survey, in 2010, found out that 51% of 18-64 year olds were responsible for buying groceries, yet only 22-24% felt these products to appeal to them. Commericals are generally directed to women and make men feel uneasy. Probably they would buy a certain product if its image wasn't all too feminine. Packaging is very important to mark the difference. A Greek yogurt company launched an exclusive line for men in which the logo is the head of a bull. If a bee's waist attracts women in search of bifidus, the powerful bull works for men looking for a healthy and masculine diet. Men like animals with a strong appeal: marketing research done to find out male preferences proves it.

What else? Men don't like straws: they don't care for nutrients that help digestion, rather they tend to look for stimulants and energy channels, or help their muscles; they like crusty things and novelties, especially at the top of their category. The food industry is opening its doors to this new market-universe that allows men to buy anything they need and feels right to them. It's now becoming a trend in the States: from tacos to cheese, more and more products are made to attract male consumers.

Apparently there are six kinds of male-shoppers the Daymon research considers: traditional male (15%); contemporary male (12%); primal male(14%); confused male (19%); discerning male (20%); heckled male (20%). Each kind has a type of "mission" or behavior when it comes to groceries. A key-study that helps retailers shape their products for the male consumer. Those who invest in male consumers will probably succeed: compared to women, men tend to stick with a brand they like.

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