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Behold the Rise of the Male Grocery Shopper

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In many ways, the biggest consumer trend that has emerged this past decade is the emergence of men as a desirable demographic for marketers. Witness the rise of the metrosexual, who probably carries a man bag, goes for manscaping once in a while, and enjoys a mancation every so often.
Now, it seems the latest thing that the new 21st century man is doing more so than ever is grocery shopping. 
Yes, though supermarkets like Whole Foods (WFM), Costco (COST) and Safeway (SWY) are traditionally more strongly associated with and marketed towards women, the LA Times reports that men are taking over grocery duties in larger numbers than ever before, thanks to the recessionary times, which have seen more men get laid off than women (a mancession?).
One study conducted by consumer research firm GfK MRI and ESPN revealed that in 2011, 31% of men in America were the chief household grocery shoppers, more than double the 14% from 1985.
In a separate Yahoo survey of 1,000 fathers, the figure is even higher, with 51% reporting to be their household’s primary grocery shoppers.

"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," Phil Lempert, a supermarket consultant told the LA Times. "It's very different from the whole metrosexual phenomenon of six, seven, eight years ago, but a much more down-to-earth [approach], not trying to show off, but trying to be part of the family."
The supermarket industry, which has always focused its attention on women in everything from advertising to the layout of a store, has taken steps to meet the demands of the growing ranks for male grocery shoppers.
For example, Proctor & Gamble (PG) piloted a “man aisles” program in 2009, which will hit Walmart (WMT), Target (TGT) and Walgreens (WAG) stores, among other chains, in North America next year.
These man aisles put together in one easy-to-find location all men’s products, as P&G hopes they will entice men to linger around the aisles and spend more money.
A P&G spokesperson, Damon Jones, said that these aisles would provide men “an experience that was comfortable for them and made it easier to navigate the store.”
If these man aisles take off, I suppose we can all expect to a whole lot more of men-targeted marketing in the future.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.