PORTLAND — Shopping scientist and author Herb Sorenson says we’re seeing a societal evolution at the grocery store.
“The erosion of the traditional family is why you have more men doing the shopping,” explained Sorenson.
Two recent studies confirm the trend and stores are reacting. Some Walmart and Target locations are phasing in “man aisles”.
Proctor and Gamble has started a website called “Man in the House” to promote products to male shoppers.
An ESPN study shows 31 percent of grocery shoppers are men. In 1985 only 14 percent handled the shopping duties.
Portland State Marketing Professor Tom Gillpatrick believes men can be more impulsive.
“Men are definitely on a hunting trip. Their mission is to get the items they need and bring them home,” he explained.
So who is spending more – the hunters or the gatherers, like Cheryl Clark?
“My husband shops once in awhile. He finds the good deals while I like the brands,” said Clark during a recent trip to Zupan’s.
“Men are maybe a bit more motivated when there’s a deal,” added Professor Gillpatrick.
Nielsen research shows women spend an average of $ 44.43 a trip while men spend $34.81.
“If men are spending less, it’s because they’re spending less time,” commented Sorenson.
Zupan’s cashier Shelby Taylor has noticed a difference during her five years on the job.
“The women tend to have the big carts with more items where as the men have four or five items.”
Taylor said women tend to have detailed lists and some try to give them to their husbands.
“He gets what he thinks he needs. Not what’s on the list. It’s very efficient but usually wrong,” joked Portland shopper Libby McCaslin. It’s why the evolution at the grocery store is not taking hold in some households.