Does your man have grocery shopping prowess?
We're seeing more men in supermarkets, but they complain that ads still portray them as helpless.
More men are literally bringing home the bacon, but they say that advertising still doesn't speak to them as grocery shoppers.
We're not sure why in 2011 men have still not attained equality in grocery shopping, but perhaps we'll see that in our lifetime.
A survey by Yahoo last year found that 51% of men considered themselves the primary grocery shopper in their homes, though another survey found that 85% of women said THEY were the primary shopper, so someone is exaggerating. Other research indicates that about 35% of grocery shoppers are men, which is still a big number.
According to Advertising Age, those men who are buying groceries, toiletries and paper products feel left out by today's advertising, which is still aimed at women.
Procter & Gamble, which makes diapers, soap, cleaning and personal care products, has identified the family man as an untapped market and started a website called Man of the House. In addition to articles on how to have better sex, the site offers advice on cooking, cleaning and raising kids.
According to an article for WebMD, while men are doing more grocery shopping, many are not making shopping decisions. Men get lost without a list, University of Southern California marketing professor David W. Stewart said:
More and more men are picking up items at the grocery store. But they are frequently following the instructions of the female in the household. Traditionally, the woman was the decision maker and shopper. Now the female is still the primary decision maker, but the shopping is more often shared by two individuals.
While a 2007 study found that men were dazed and confused by grocery shopping, more are braving the aisles. We remain confident it's something the average man can master. Perhaps the advertising world will help him feel more confident by cutting down on ads pushing the stereotype of men as helpless in the home.
Who shops for groceries in your household? If you're a man, do you know how to grocery shop well? Have you taught your sons about grocery shopping, a key element of personal finance? Do you think advertising keeps men from reaching parity in grocery shopping skill?
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However, I was very unimpressed with the perspective of professor Stewart. Shopping lists have been recommended for decades. They help one control one's spending and they greatly speed the process of shopping. As for the fact that women make the actual purchasing decision even if a man executes the activity, I don't know of many men who want to spend their limited political capital with their woman, arguing over what to put on the grocery list. Save it for something substantive, guys!
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A writer for MSN Money since January 2007, Donna Freedman won regional and national prizes during an 18-year newspaper career and earned a college degree in midlife without taking out student loans. She also writes about smart money tactics for magazines and on her own site, Surviving and Thriving.
Mitch Lipka has been warning people about scams and shining light on questionable business practices for more than 20 years. Mitch, the consumer columnist for The Boston Globe, has also been a reporter and editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Consumer Reports, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and AOL. He won the 2010 New York Press Club award for best consumer reporting online and was honored in 2011 for his reporting on child product safety.
Marilyn Lewis is an award-winning writer with a passion for getting readers clear, straight information that helps them stay out of financial trouble. A former reporter for The San Jose Mercury News, she works from her home in Port Townsend, Wash. Contact her at MarilynLewis@Outlook.com.
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