November 5, 2015

Millennial Men Playing Larger Role in Grocery Shopping

MillenialSmallMillennials are the first generation of men who claim to do most of the grocery shopping. According to the report “American Millennials: Deciphering the Enigma Generation,” more than half of men age 18-34 identify themselves as the primary grocery shoppers in their households.

Trips to the Store

While many leading experts in men’s research will suggest that men overstate their role, data from actual activity illustrates that men are active grocery shoppers. Behavioral studies that monitored actual versus reported activity show that 35% of grocery and mass shoppers are men and that men account for 38% of spending. This will be an important trend to monitor as millennials move into older life stages. Shopping trips for this group fall into two categories – quick trips and shopping with a companion. Eighty percent of millennial men make quick trips for five or fewer items. These trips are likely made alone. But 56% of millennial men make shopping trips with a companion for 16 items or more. Interestingly, as millennials’ schedules grow busier, going grocery shopping is viewed as “spending time together” with their friends and family, a high priority.

Time in the Kitchen

When it comes to meal planning, millennial men are participating at a higher rate than previous generations. Tighter budgets are forcing more involvement and discussions on shopping.

This could be contributed to the fact that millennials are getting married later in life, presumably meaning that millennial men are cooking and preparing meals for themselves longer than men in the past. Engagement in shopping could also be driven by the fact that more millennial men enjoy cooking. More millennial men claim, “I love to cook and consider myself an expert” and “I enjoy cooking and being creative in the kitchen.” This is in contrast to non-millennial men, who are more likely to claim, “I don’t mind cooking; it’s just one of those things I do.” This is a significant change in attitudes toward cooking, which may be driven by the downturn in the economy. Millennials now turn to cooking and entertaining as a way to experience new, less expensive social activities, which they likely would have sought previously at restaurants.


“American Millennials: Deciphering the Enigma Generation” report based on a comprehensive survey of 4,259 millennials and 1,234 older non-millennials completed in partnership by Barkley, Service Management Group and The Boston Consulting Group.