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Dad’s Doing The Grocery Shopping


Tony the Tiger’s singular purpose in life is to sell Frosted Flakes to kids and grocery-buying moms. That, of course, and to exclaim with unabashed enthusiasm, “They’re great!”

But now, as the food industry faces a crackdown on advertising to children, Kellogg Co. has found a new target for Tony: Dads. What?

The campaign is meant to tap into the growing trend of dads buying groceries. More than half of men ages 18 to 64 identify themselves as the primary shopper in the household, but only 22 percent to 24 percent feel that packaged-goods advertising is speaking to them, according to a recent survey of 2,400 U.S. men by Yahoo.

The “Great Recession” has thrown millions of men in construction, manufacturing and other traditionally male occupations out of work and by extension into more domestic duties. At the same time, gender roles were already changing anyway, with Gen X and millennial men in particular more likely to take an active role in parenting and household duties.

And while that figure may be far from a majority , the fact that a third of a brand’s shoppers are male is an awful lot to ignore. As a result, shopper-marketing efforts are increasingly gender-neutral rather than targeted for female shoppers.

Even more important for marketers is the fact that men will shop for groceries faster than women. Men will rely on visual cues, familiar brands – products they recall from their early years. In general men’s shopping behavior is different from that of their female counterparts. Men view shopping as a mission. With specific objectives to accomplish. Women, on the other hand, view shopping as an event that can be punctuated by social elements and interaction. These differences exist for online shopping as well…see below:

That’s where Tony the Tiger steps up for Kellogg’s. Men love Frosted Flakes. Perhaps a guilty pleasure but love ’em they do. And buy they will.

Grocers and their suppliers will benefit from a focus on the male shopper. Help him shop efficiently and effectively and he’ll return and return again. Give him the opportunity to exclaim “mission accomplished”!

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