Supermarkets test man-friendly aisles in an effort to reduce “intimidation factor” experienced by male shoppers
Does your man have trouble finding his way around a supermarket
It wouldn”t be surprising given that shop layouts have been traditionally designed for women, particularly mothers.
But that is changing thanks to a growing recognition that it is increasingly men who are the main grocery shoppers in the household.
Happy shopper: The idea of the reluctant male customer is an outdated concept say researchers, and supermarkets are changing their layouts to suit them
The $560 billion retail food industry is making huge efforts to cater to male shoppers, who, market researchers have found, navigate their way around stores in a different way.
Procter & Gamble, which manufactures many common men”s grooming products, has pioneered the idea of the “man aisle”.
It found that many items its target market might want often required a shopper to sort through bottom shelves and endless aisles of female-related toiletries.
Its idea of displaying all men”s products in one area has been so successful, chains such as Wal-Mart, Target and Walgreens plan to adopt it in the coming year.
Spokesman Damon Jones told the LA Times that “many men were terribly uncomfortable with the shopping experience”.
“Ourintent in creating guy aisles was to give them an experience that was comfortable for them and made it easier to navigate the store.”
“We”re seeing more men doing grocery shopping and more young dads cooking with their kids as a way to bond with them at home.”
The same is true of food, researchershave found. Research by Kraft found that by placing Philadelphia Cooking Creme near the chicken in a supermarket, sales went up by 20 percent.
Barry Calpino, vice president of breakthrough innovation at Kraft Foods,explained: “We had a lot of guys who impulsively bought that product, thinking, “What can I mix with chicken I want to try something different.”"
It seems that women, in contrast, will shop less impulsively and more logically, instinctively turning to the dairy section for a a cream cheese product.
The reason for all the new focus on male shoppers has been attributed to the rising number of men in the U.S. taking responsibility for the weekly grocery shop.
Areport commissioned by ESPN found that 31 per cent of the primary household grocery shoppers were men in 2011, up from14 per cent in 1985.
Phil Lempert, a supermarket consultant, told the LA Times: “We”re seeing more men doing grocery shopping and more young dads cooking with their kids as a way to bond with them at home.
“It”s very different from the whole metrosexual phenomenon of six, seven, eight years ago, but a much more down-to-earth [process], not trying to show off, but trying to be part of the family.”