MANMADE DUDE FOOD ON THE RISE According to a study by Men’s Health in Britain, 84% of men there now food-shop on behalf of their families…a whopping 19% more than ten years ago. What’s more, they are also cooking now more than ever – and now food manufacturers are changing the way they package, display and market grocery items to better woo the male shopper that represents the breakdown of gender stereotypes, Men’s Health vice president and publisher Chris Peel says. But while men roam grocery stores more often, they don’t shop the same as women. “For one thing, guys aren’t into meal-planning as much,” Peel says. “They’re more short-term shoppers, buying on impulse with an eye toward today’s meal or tomorrow’s, rather than what’s needed for the whole week. “They also want to shop quickly — in and out without distractions. They tend to spring for eye-catching products that are most visible on supermarket shelves, foods that will save on prep time and familiar brands. They’re less concerned with price than women and will pay more for items that appeal to them.” As a result, food companies and supermarkets have begun ‘recalibrating’ their marketing approach to reach more male shoppers… and ushering in the new ‘dude food packaging’ era. Relying on testosterone-fuelled buzz words like ‘powerful’ and ‘strong’, companies are ditching pastel colours for darker and bold hues to catch the male eyes and ditching the pastels for bolder, darker colours to appeal to men. Grocery stores are also rearranging their aisles, displays and signage with man-centric themes designed to spark meal ideas and make it easier for male shoppers to find what they need, such as ‘lunchbox essentials’ and ‘tonight’s dinner’, Peel says. Food retailers are bunching related items together – such as meats and sauces – to create a seamless and fun man-shopping experience. However, Peel warns about future fads. A new study has revealed that the largest group of digital shoppers are men aged 18-44, which might mean that less men will physically browse the supermarket aisles in the future.
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