Study: Influence of the male shopper on the riseThe way US consumers shop for food is changing dramatically, but it’s not how they are shopping that’s changing, rather, who is doing the shopping.

According to a new study, “Food Shopping in America 2014,” men now comprise 43 percent of primary shoppers and are shopping as frequently as women.

 The study was conducted and interpreted by consumer research firm The Hartman Group and food and nutrition marketing agency MSLGROUP. Results of the study revealed that on average consumers shop three channels per week which include visits to the grocery store, specialty and mass merchandise, club, convenience or online stores. Researchers say that unlike previous years, both men and women are shopping the same amount, though they are at different locations. Because of this, analysts say food and beverage manufacturers would be wise to tailor some of their products to match the preferences and habits of men.

“You can no longer ignore the male shopper,” says Steve Bryant, MSLGROUP director of food and beverage. “With such a strong contingent of primary shoppers being men, today's male consumers need to be considered in product innovation, merchandising and other marketing efforts.”

However, men are still less likely to be the biggest spenders of the household though they are sharing the grocery shopping responsibilities with their partners. Unlike women, men can be more often found in club (34 percent), convenience (21 percent) and online (6 percent) retailers for food and beverage. These preferences reflect a male desire to easily find everything they need.

 “With their higher household income and spending power, men are less price sensitive than women. Instead, convenience is priority,” researchers say.