Man About Town
Recent research from Chicago-based Midan Marketing has indicated that these types of ideas and serving suggestions might be especially important for a growing segment of male shoppers who are participating more in household cooking and grocery shopping.
It’s a demographic trend being driven by Generation X and older Generation Y adults, according to Michael Uetz, managing principal for Midan.
“It’s about being involved,” he said. “Involved with the entire family … and a lot of that revolves around meal planning and meal preparation. That’s why we see more men getting involved, and we don’t think that this is a [short-term] trend at all, we see it really as the new norm.”
Some retailers are already noticing this new “Manfluence,” as Midan calls it, in their stores. For example, proprietary research by Schnuck Markets recently indicated that 6% more men were doing the primary grocery shopping for their household compared with five years ago.
And men shop the meat case differently than women, Uetz explained. Many are new to cooking, they tend to be less price sensitive, they want to get in and out of the store quickly, and they are more prone to impulse buys when not carrying a shopping list. All of these factors make them great targets for recipe ideas and meal bundles.
“He’s more likely to want something that’s quick and easy to put together but still makes him look like a hero when it’s time to eat,” Uetz said. “We believe that if we give him the right information and the right products at the right place, and he sees the potential, he’s going to be very likely to buy.”
Rebuilding volume sales and margins for the meat case will continue to be a challenge this year, Uetz agreed, since prices are expected to keep inching up. But, he argued, there is an opportunity for retailers that put into perspective the relative bargains that their meat departments continue to offer.
“Help them understand the value that they get from home preparation … The key is the value proposition and how we explain to them the opportunities,” he said.
As the economy slowly recovers and restaurant expenditures begin picking up, it could be a good time to remind shoppers that grilling a premium steak at home is still a significant bargain compared with eating one at a restaurant.
Midan will discuss these trends in the first installment of a new research platform called The Consumers’ Case. A series of webinars on current meat case trends will kick off with “Breaking the Pattern” on March 20.