Half of Dads Claim Primary Responsibility for Grocery Shopping

June 18, 2012

cone-grocery-shopping-responsibilities-june2012.png52% of fathers claim they are primarily responsible for grocery purchasing decisions, with just 10% saying the responsibility belongs fully to someone else, according to [pdf] results from a Cone Communications survey released in June 2012. And while mothers may not necessarily agree (83% claim primary responsibility), 35% admit that fathers are exerting more influence now over product purchases. Even so, fathers who claim primary responsibility for household grocery shopping appear to need a healthy amount of input from others. 72% say they receive either moderate (38%) or a lot (34%) of input. Just 47% of mothers who say they are primarily responsible for grocery shopping report the same level of outside input.

Most Dads Are Planners

Further details from the “2012 Year of the Dad Trend Tracker” reveal that before deciding which products to purchase, 63% of fathers create a detailed shopping list and 56% collect coupons or read supermarket circulars to find upcoming sales and deals. Mothers show similar inclinations, at 65% and 62%, respectively.

Fathers are slightly more likely than mothers to say they plan meals for the week to have a general idea of the products they need (52% vs. 46%), and more than twice as likely to say they perform background research on the products they want to purchase (24% vs. 11%).

1 in 3 Get In and Out Quickly

A possible result of this planning is that 32% of fathers get in and get out as fast as they can, buying only what they came for, with only 21% of mothers professing to this type of a grocery trip. Instead, mothers are about 24% more likely to take their time walking up and down each aisle to look at all their options or comparison shop (47% vs. 38%). A significant proportion of each group admits that even while trying to stay focused on what they need to buy, they are often distracted by large displays, with mothers slightly more likely than fathers to say this (30% vs. 26%).

In fact, survey data released in April by SymphonyIRI indicates that in-store messaging is particularly influential with mothers: among other results, they are 68% more likely than the general population to say that their brand decisions are influenced by signs or displays in a store.

Despite this, just 1 in 10 mothers and fathers responding to the Cone Communications survey say that outside of price and quality, in-store promotions would influence a purchase decision.

In-Store Promos Prove Valuable Info Sources

cone-grocery-shopping-info-sources-june2012.pngAlthough only a minority say that in-store promotions would influence their purchase decision, a majority of both mothers (69%) and fathers (57%) say they use these promotions as a source of information, making them the most popular source among those identified. Other traditional channels also rank highly among fathers and mothers, including advertising (50% and 46%, respectively), traditional media (40% and 49%, respectively), and word-of-mouth (38% vs. 45%).

Digital information sources such as online media, product websites, and social networks, appear less important.

Other Findings:

  • When asked what would influence a purchase decision outside of price and quality, a plurality of fathers (37%) and mothers (44%) indicated a coupon would hold sway, with product benefit (20% and 18%, respectively) next on the list. Brand name (14% and 12%, respectively) is relatively less influential.
  • 31% of mothers say they spend more than 1 hour in the store while grocery shopping, compared to 22% of fathers.

About the Data: The 2012 Cone Communications Year of the Dad Trend Tracker presents the findings of an online survey conducted May 15-21, 2012 by ORC International among a sample of 1,000 adult parents who currently have children 17 years old or younger.

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