Manhattan resident Dave Fasano thoroughly enjoys grocery
shopping and views what some consider a mundane chore as fun and
challenging -- and he's s definitely not alone.
Fasano, 48, scours his East Village neighborhood markets for
sales, carefully reviewing the store circulars to find the best
deals for family dinners. Married with a seven-year-old son, Fasano
estimates he does about half the household grocery shopping and
cooks most of the meals he buys. Recently, he prepared
Chinese-style ribs with sautéed broccoli, purchasing pork ribs on
sale for $1.99 a pound. He added soy sauce, rice vinegar, oil,
brown rice and fruit preserves.
One fundamental shopping disagreement he has with his wife,
Nicole, is that she tends to buy more expensive organic foods,
while he prefers food on sale and heavier meals like Italian
"For me, shopping is fun because I challenge myself to make
something great out of what is on sale," he says. "Once I see that,
the ideas about what I'm going to prepare come to me. I get a
charge out of making a lot out of a little. I feel like I'm
channeling my inner peasant."
Fasano, like so many other American men, is increasingly taking
on a task some still stereotypically associate with women.
According to multiple studies, surveys and anecdotal information,
more men are equally sharing grocery shopping, while some are even
taking on a majority of the shopping load.
Midan Marketing, a Chicago-based agency that represents meat
industry clients like Tyson Fresh Meats, released a survey in August that found 47 percent of the
men who buy and eat meat were responsible for at least half their
household grocery shopping. Forty-nine percent of the 900 men
surveyed said they enjoyed grocery shopping, while 58 percent were
very conscious of what they spent on beef, pork and chicken.
survey focused on meat shopping only.)
Michael Uetz, a managing principal at Midan Marketing, says the
company coined the phrase "manfluencers" last year to describe
those men who like to shop, cook, barbecue, and sometimes clip
coupons. These men have growing influence over how their families
shop, according to Uetz.
Uetz says he was surprised that there were few gender
differences in shopping habits between these so-called manfluencers
and traditional women shoppers.
Phil Lempert, a consumer trends analyst and the CEO of
SupermarketGuru.com, anticipated that men's "influence on our foods
(is) becoming stronger as even more dads join the ranks of shopper
and cook," he wrote last December. A 2012 survey from Cone
Communications found that 52 percent of fathers identified
themselves as the primary grocery shopper in the family. And a 2011
survey by ESPN disclosed that 31 percent of all grocery shoppers
are men, up from just 14 percent in 1985.
One factor fueling the trend? It's the millennial-generation men
who are passionate about food, says Lempert. They're willing to
experiment with new flavors and more likely to shop or share those
duties with their partners. Another key factor is that more men are
working from home, a development in part attributed to the 2008
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