10/31/2013 7:30 PM ET|
Supermarket bromance: More men are shopping
An increasing number of men are sharing grocery responsibilities, while some are even taking on a majority of the shopping load.
Manhattan resident Dave Fasano thoroughly enjoys grocery shopping and views what some consider a mundane chore as fun and challenging -- and he's s definitely not alone.
Fasano, 48, scours his East Village neighborhood markets for sales, carefully reviewing the store circulars to find the best deals for family dinners. Married with a seven-year-old son, Fasano estimates he does about half the household grocery shopping and cooks most of the meals he buys. Recently, he prepared Chinese-style ribs with sautéed broccoli, purchasing pork ribs on sale for $1.99 a pound. He added soy sauce, rice vinegar, oil, brown rice and fruit preserves.
One fundamental shopping disagreement he has with his wife, Nicole, is that she tends to buy more expensive organic foods, while he prefers food on sale and heavier meals like Italian sausage.
"For me, shopping is fun because I challenge myself to make something great out of what is on sale," he says. "Once I see that, the ideas about what I'm going to prepare come to me. I get a charge out of making a lot out of a little. I feel like I'm channeling my inner peasant."
Fasano, like so many other American men, is increasingly taking on a task some still stereotypically associate with women. According to multiple studies, surveys and anecdotal information, more men are equally sharing grocery shopping, while some are even taking on a majority of the shopping load.
Midan Marketing, a Chicago-based agency that represents meat industry clients like Tyson Fresh Meats, released a survey in August that found 47 percent of the men who buy and eat meat were responsible for at least half their household grocery shopping. Forty-nine percent of the 900 men surveyed said they enjoyed grocery shopping, while 58 percent were very conscious of what they spent on beef, pork and chicken. (The survey focused on meat shopping only.)
Michael Uetz, a managing principal at Midan Marketing, says the company coined the phrase "manfluencers" last year to describe those men who like to shop, cook, barbecue, and sometimes clip coupons. These men have growing influence over how their families shop, according to Uetz.
Uetz says he was surprised that there were few gender differences in shopping habits between these so-called manfluencers and traditional women shoppers.
Phil Lempert, a consumer trends analyst and the CEO of SupermarketGuru.com, anticipated that men's "influence on our foods (is) becoming stronger as even more dads join the ranks of shopper and cook," he wrote last December. A 2012 survey from Cone Communications found that 52 percent of fathers identified themselves as the primary grocery shopper in the family. And a 2011 survey by ESPN disclosed that 31 percent of all grocery shoppers are men, up from just 14 percent in 1985.
One factor fueling the trend? It's the millennial-generation men who are passionate about food, says Lempert. They're willing to experiment with new flavors and more likely to shop or share those duties with their partners. Another key factor is that more men are working from home, a development in part attributed to the 2008 recession.
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While I was gone for a month on a fishing trip, my wife didn’t hit the grocery store even once. Tomorrow, I have to do it. I dread grocery shopping more than getting a colonoscopy. And why do I hate grocery shopping?
If there was some way I could keep women out of grocery stores, I would. They should be banned! One, cell phones. They wander around stores like zombies without direction, don’t watch where they are going and have that damned cell phone plastered to their ear yakking away. When they get in the way or poke down the aisles, I just run into them with my cart. Two, when women stop to look for something on the shelf, they turn their shopping carts sideways and block the whole friggin aisle. Every one of them do it. Three, they run into a friend (also female) and the chatting starts, resulting in at least one aisle being blocked…no matter how wide it is. Four, they take forever to make a choice. Look at this item…put it back. Look at that item…put it back. Look at several more items…and put them all back. Then take the first item they had picked up. Five, the female with a cell phone AND a calculator. OMG! Burn them at the stake. Six, the produce section. Just how many tomatoes do they have to squeeze before picking one? Makes me want to run all the produce I buy through the dishwasher before using them. There was one looking at cucumbers. She picked up one, put it back. Picked up a bigger one and put it back. Then picked up this monster cucumber, eyed it carefully and bagged it. I wanted to ask her if she was going to eat it or make love to it? And number seven. I finally make it to checkout and in front of me is a woman. Here we go again. She stands there watching everything run across the reader. The clerk gives her a total…and then she starts digging in her purse for coupons. After she is given the new discounted price, she starts looking for her checkbook. Damn, woman, didn’t you know you were going to have to pay for all this stuff? She slowly makes out her check (use a credit card, for Christ’s sake…this is 2013), fills in the info on her check register, slowly tears out the check like it was made out of toilet paper, hands the check to the cashier and closes up her purse. The cashier asks for ID. S#$%#$@*^&%$#@#$# WOMAN! Purse diving for the third time looking for her driver’s license. Then her cell phone rings and the bitch answers it! Now I’m mad. Now I’m banging my stuff on the conveyor belt like I want everything to break…including the counter. She finds another coupon. CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I walk out, leaving a basket full of groceries. Women should be banned from grocery stores. Grocery shopping is a necessity, not a sport. Can you imagine some guy in a hardware store doing this kind of crap? The guy behind him would plant that axe he was going to buy into the back of his head. If I could get away with it, I would take a cattle prod with me to the grocery store. “Having a nice conversation on your cell phone?” ZAP! “Is that your cart blocking the aisle?” ZAP! “Make a Goddamned decision, woman.” ZAP! “Squeeze one more tomato and ZAP!” “You start digging in that purse one more time and I’m going to ZAP you into an orgasm you’ll never forget.” WOMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now that I’m all worked up, think I’ll grab a can a pepper spray and go grocery shopping.
I have to admit that women do have one redeeming factor in grocery stores….the freezer section. It makes their nipples hard. All is forgiven.
See you in the checkout line.
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