WASHINGTON -- Women who work full time outside the home tend to shop at supermarkets with in-store banking or ATM machines, coffee bars, frequent shopper programs, prepared foods, and ethnic and natural foods.
contrasting portraits come from a recent white paper, What Working Women Want, issued by the Food Marketing Institute here, which reveals that women shop differently based on weekly hours worked. The report is based on data derived from FMI's Trends in the United States: Consumer Attitudes & the Supermarket, 2001.
"This report clearly shows that shopping habits and priorities differ between working women and those that work part time or not at all," noted Janice Jones, FMI's director of research.
The study examined the shopping habits and expectations of full-time working women, part-timers and nonworking women. Among its findings about these shopper segments: Full-time working women (defined as women who work work at least 20 hours weekly outside the home) are very concerned with a fast and convenient checkout.
These women spend an average of $94.10 per week, with $73.20 spent at their primary store.
Part-timers and nonworking women (women who work less than 20 hours per week outside the home) are more likely to be especially concerned about customer service and personal attention.
These women spend an average of $87.30 per week, with $69.90 spent at their primary store.
Both shopper segments demonstrate economizing behaviors, although in different ways.
Half of the full-time working women surveyed participate in a frequent shopper program, compared with only 41% of women who work fewer hours or not at all outside the home.
However, 65% of women working part time are more likely to look in newspapers for grocery specials, vs. 56% of full-timers.
"These figures show that both groups economize, but each has a different savings strategy, which is based on the amount of time each group has available," said Jones. The availability of time also seems to influence the type of food that full-time working women buy, she noted.
Forty percent report the regular purchase of prepared foods that are ready to heat and eat, compared with only 28% of women working 20 or fewer hours.