It’s well known that healthy food marketers have traditionally targeted the female consumer. After all, throughout history, they have been the primary shopper, even for men’s items.
Now brands are bumping into an unfamiliar shopper in the aisles: men.
With single households on the rise, and the number of female spouses in the work force continuing to grow, the volume of male grocery shoppers has increased dramatically over the past thirty years.
This has given healthy food brands yet another consumer to impress.
Many major brands like Kraft Foods have already begun to try to capture male shoppers.
Kraft capitalized on men’s desire for convenience with their new Oscar Mayer Portable Protein Pack, implemented new television marketing campaigns for Velveeta and Miracle Whip (Velveeta’s new campaign challenges customers to “eat like that guy you know”), and created flavors specifically tailored to male taste preferences like hot habanero cheese and chipotle flavored Planter’s Peanuts.
Yogurt companies are getting in on the guy action too.
Both Dannon and Powerful Yogurt have begun targeting male shoppers by using darker, macho colors like red and black instead of the traditional blue and pink, and short, wide packaging. Powerful Yogurt created a new tagline to “Find Your Inner Abs,” focusing on the strengthening, protein-rich aspects of their product, and Dannon became an official National Football League sponsor for the first time in 2015.
Even brands that already target men are upping their efforts with guy-like products and messages.
Ball Park has only recently dubbed their target customer “the grill master guy” and dubbed themselves the makers of “great tasting guy food,” after historically marketing to just women. In 2014, Ball Park launched Park’s Finest, a new line of premium hot dogs that include strong flavors like Cracked Dijon Mustard and Slow Smoked Hickory that appeal to male taste preferences.
Grilling has always had masculine connotations so promoting the “grilling” potential of your products has obvious appeal to male consumers.
Because men not only buying their own groceries, but are cooking their own meals, they find themselves searching for recipes to fulfill their specific dietary preferences, rather than eating whatever their spouses cook.
Men’s Fitness magazine has an entire section titled “Guy Food,” with tips on nutritious food to eat, recipes for “men’s” meals, and grocery shopping advice. As men more broadly explore the ingredients and meals they prefer to create, healthy food marketers have the huge opportunity and challenge of tailoring their marketing strategies toward male consumers.
As many major brands shift their focus from female driven approaches to male and gender neutral driven approaches, it is possible to take advantage of the increase in male consumers by emphasizing the more masculine-appealing aspects of your food product.
Healthy food marketers, pay attention! With hungry guys in the aisle, all food is fair game: there’s no telling what they’ll buy next.