Grocers gear up for male shoppers with sausage and beer stations, dad jokes

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Grocers gear up for male shoppers with sausage and beer stations, dad jokes


Grocers are finding a major opportunity to merchandise more products to men as the gender claims to be responsible for a larger share of trips to the grocery store.

More men are shopping frequently, making just as many monthly store visits as women, says a Food Shopping in America study from Bellevue-Wash.-based the Hartman Group. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, grocers such as Hy-Vee and The Kroger Co. are starting to add a few “male-centric amenities,” including gourmet sausage and beer stations, meat and beer pairing promotions, and men’s facial care introductions. For example, West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee revamped its store recipe magazines to feature sports stars and weightlifting spreads. Mega Meat sales, where customers can earn gas discounts, are particularly popular, Hy-Vee says. Its July flier promoting a Mega Meat event also suggests beer pairings.

Fifty-eight percent of men who do grocery shopping said they believe they are doing the vast majority of it for their households, according to the Hartman Group study. Most men don’t pay as much attention to prices and health as women do while shopping, opting instead to make their purchases and get out of the store as quickly as possible, the study indicates. But they also tend to buy on impulse, grabbing things not on their grocery list, and enjoy buying humorous “dad joke” items and treats. Displaying novel store brand items may lead to higher sales the Hartman Group states.

Other grocery retailers, such as Boulder, Colo.-based Alfalfa’s Market, say the percentage of men shopping has risen to 40 percent from 30 percent, the Wall Street Journal noted. Alfalfa’s set up signs pointing to “men departments” in the stores such as men’s heart health, grooming aids or facial care, and beauty aisles offering beard salves and protein supplements.

The meat department offers butchery classes, Alfalfa’s said. Stores have even had requests for more-masculine floral arrangements adorned with wood, bark and branches.