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Man food


Recently, there’s been a focus on men grocery shoppers with CPGs launching man food and grocery stores creating man-friendly aisles.

This is interesting to note as grocery shopping has traditionally been seen as a female pursuit, not the case anymore with more men taking on that chore.

According to an NPD study, men were the primary grocery shoppers in 25 per cent of Canadian households in 2010, up from 20 per cent in 2006.

Add to that more male-only households (with people marrying later and increased divorce rates) that it’s not surprising then there are a bevy of male-targeted products, both here and abroad.

Ruffles’ launched its ‘Ultimate Chips & Dips' targeted specifically for men with ridges twice the size of original Ruffles Potato Chips, in flavours like Sweet & Smokin' BBQ and Kickin' Jalapeno Ranch.

It’s not just chips that are being made for men; it’s the diet soda industry, traditionally focused on females looking to count calories.

Dr. Pepper 10, Pepsi Next and Coke Zero were marketed to male sensibilities.

And In Japan, there’s a new drink touted as the world’s first health-food cola that is targeted to men in their 30s who enjoy eating out and drinking but are worried about weight gain.

The drink called Kirin Mets Cola, contains an ingestible form of dextrin that can be used a firbre supplement and prevents the body from absorbing fat when eating.

P&G meanwhile has reportedly tested man aisles since 2009, has started a website, “Man of the house” to promote male products.

And grocery environments are becoming more male friendly, too.

Texas' H-E-B grocery stores have “man caves” with TVs blaring sports, blue floor lights and hundreds of manly grooming products, while Walmart and Target locations are phasing in man aisles.

Here are some strategies with male appeal from marketing expert Tony Chapman of Capital C, according to a Canadian Press story:

-Group products together for a meal or event, which encourages impulse buys and makes it easier to find things. Men love to barbecue, so a logical example is a display by the meat counter including marinades, sauces, sea salt, baked potatoes and utensils for the grill. Or create an ``entertainment alley'' of snacks, drinks and easy meals for the Super Bowl, with nearby video promos. Some grocery stores, aware they are losing the breakfast battle to Tim Hortons and other fast-food spots, have assembled breakfast aisles with cereal, coffee, peanut butter and maple syrup.

-Easy-to-read signs and maps. Men can remember all 18 holes but have little recall of where anything is in the local Loblaws.

-Smart phone apps that beep when the shopper gets close to a brand on their digital list. These are under development using the same product-scanning technology used for inventory.

-Videos showing simple cooking techniques and catchy suggestions, with recipe card stands nearby. Make him believe he can do it.

-Bold headlines and sound bites that grab a guy's attention, but not too many details.

-Easy-to-assemble meals that require some work, but not too much for the guy just getting comfortable in the kitchen, like pre-packaged stir-frys and bagged salads so the hunter can open four cellophane packages and feel like he's gone out and caught dinner.

-More aeronautically designed shopping carts that appeal to his NASCAR sensibility.

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