Guess What? Men Are Also Capable Of Grocery Shopping

Breaking news! It’s not just women steering carts around — men can go to the grocery store and shop for food. And they don’t want to be marketed to like they’re females, which means companies are learning how to skew ads and create grocery aisles specifically devoted to men.

The Chicago Tribune does a bit of digging, citing consumer-research firm GfK MRI and an ESPN report that says 31 percent of men nationwide were the primary household grocery shoppers in 2011. That’s an entire 14 percent more than in 1985. Other studies say it could be even more, as much as 51 percent of men being the primary shoppers.

We’re seeing more men doing grocery shopping and more young dads cooking with their kids as a way to bond with them at home,” said Phil Lempert, a supermarket consultant. “It’s very different from the whole metrosexual phenomenon of six, seven, eight years ago, but a much more down-to-earth (approach), not trying to show off, but trying to be part of the family.”

In fact, some stores are so excited to welcome men into the annals of grocery shopping fame that they’re trying out “man aisles” in certain Walmart, Target and Walgreens stores. These special aisles are designed to make men more comfortable with the shopping experience and easy store navigation, apparently because men have “little patience searching for lotion and body wash, especially when weaving through contingents of women and teenage girls.”

Poor men! Good thing they can now feel more comfortable picking up bodywash, bananas and a gallon of milk. Otherwise how would they ever be able to step into a grocery store?

More men taking the reins of the cart [Chicago Tribune]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Hi_Hello says:

    i use a shopping basket. They need to make stronger baskets….

    I can’t walk down the scented candle aisle… tooo strong for me.

    • Skipweasel says:

      And they need to stop moving things around.
      It’s OK for women, they’re the foraging sort who like finding where the damned-fool shop has hidden stuff this time. Men expect things to be where they were last time.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        no, it’s not ok for women. i also have little patience for foraging. i want stuff where it was the last time i was there

      • ducktownhusker says:

        ^ THIS.

        When I shop, I specifically plan my grocery list based on the particular store’s layout. If they have frozen foods up front, a Totino’s pizza will be first on the list and vice versa.

        By contrast, quite literally all the women in my life just throw crap on the grocery list and then spin circles throughout the store.

        I make one bee-line down each (necessary) aisle and grab all my items in less than 10 minutes. The longest part of the trip is waiting in the check-out line.

        • Syncop8d1 says:

          Wow you shop the way I do, and I’m not a man. I find that I shop most efficiently and quickly when I’m left alone to shop. I find that that it’s best to go early during the stay-at-home-mom (or dad) and/or elder crowd, or ate for the 20-something party crowd.

          I stay the hell away from the “after work” crowd b/c they’re ruthless (sometimes). And never on weekends. Oh gawd the weekends!!!

      • somedaysomehow says:

        This will never happen. It’s done for a purpose. When they move things around, you see new things you didn’t see last time you were there, and Joel Schmoe is more likely to make an impulse buy. Stores spend a whole lot of time figuring out how to make you spend more… this is one of the oldest and best-working methods out there, so it’s unlikely to change anytime soon, I’m afraid. FWIW, I hate it too, and I’m also a WOMAN who bases her grocery shopping list on the store’s layout and goes only down the aisles I need.

      • haggis for the soul says:

        No we don’t like when stores move shit around. At least I don’t.

    • Kuri says:

      I have the same issue with the cleaning supplies section.

  2. Wasp is like Requiem for a Dream without the cheery bits says:

    Patronizing men for doing something so basic? I approve.

    LOL @ man aisles.

    • Fineous K. Douchenstein says:

      Grocery shopping. It’s not just for creepy men who want to stare at melons anymore.

      • Wasp is like Requiem for a Dream without the cheery bits says:

        Don’t worry though, all men are always creepy doing everything.

    • Quirk Sugarplum says:

      “Excuse me, where are men’s razors?”

      “On Man Aisle 4. Right between the transmission fluid and the fleshlights.”

  3. Cat says:

    Mrs. Cat loves shopping. But not for groceries, so I do the food shopping.
    And most of the cooking, come to think of it.

    Wait, then why *do* I have a Mrs. Cat, anyway?
    Oh, yea, I remember. She does cook. Just not in the kitchen…

  4. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    Well isn’t it true that more and more men are single, putting off marriage to a later age, etc.? So of course there are more men doing the grocery shopping. Not that family men can’t or don’t, but single men have to unless they want to eat out every night.

    My grocery shopping method is simple. I never get a basket or cart. I walk around and pick up stuff I need until I can’t carry any more. When I can’t carry any more, that’s enough shopping for that trip and I check out and leave.

    • Applekid ‚îÄ‚îÄ‚î¨ Ôªø„Éé( „Çú-„Çú„Éé) says:

      Yeah. Putting it off. Intentionally. That’s what I’m doing. :P

      • nodaybuttoday says:

        I sometimes wonder what my husband did before we moved in together. I seem to recall when first checking out his kitchen he had a can of beans… left over pizza delivery… spoiled milk… cocoa puffs and ramen noodles. That was about it. Apparently he lived off of pizza for most of his time single. The man can not cook, I asked him to cut an onion for me during Thanksgiving and he didn’t know you were suppose to peel off the top skin…

  5. wynterbourne says:

    Love the title. Can I get one about Asian drivers next? Or maybe about women and sandwiches.

    Yes, men shop. Many of us are even proficient at it. In my household I handle all of the shopping tasks because my wife is, put bluntly, quite useless at it. If I send her out shopping for groceries she’ll spend almost twice what I do and still won’t come home with enough food to make meals with. Oh, we’ll have six pounds of chocolate, a sampler package of specialty health drinks, and a whole bunch of junk, but NOTHING we can actually use to create meals with.

    I wish she’d learn to shop, it’d make my life much easier.

    • VintageLydia says:

      I think, and I could be wrong, but MB is being a bit sarcastic in this article. It’s pretty much a given that men shop. Some out of necessity and some because they like to. It’s just that advertisers and marketers tend to stick to wildly out-dated gender stereotypes.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Yeah, it’s definitely sarcasm. “Man aisles” is a really stupid concept.

        • VintageLydia says:

          It seems like the “man aisles” are in the health and beauty sections which makes a little sense.

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            Kind of…but most shampoo and personal products, no matter what the marketing, are pretty gender neutral. Just because the marketing is geared toward women doesn’t mean men can’t use it. It’s like toothpaste or hand soap. It’s not a women’s or men’s product – it’s for both. Razors and shaving cream are also pretty gender neutral. Deodorant and shampoo are pretty gender neutral; it’s based on smells. Some men want to smell like Old Spice; some men don’t. Heck, some women want to smell like Old Spice, too.

            • little stripes says:

              I tend to agree with you, except about razors. They tend to be designed differently, because women don’t (usually) shave their face. I’ve used both, and there is quite a difference, if you’re using high-quality razors.

              • pecan 3.14159265 says:

                That’s true, but I guess my point with the razors is that it’s not so much that one is for a man and another is for a woman, but that women can use men’s razors, too and it’s not like I want to shlep to a special aisle to get the right pack of razor blades to fit the razors we have at home because someone thought only men would buy them.

            • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

              The items themselves might be gender neutral, but the manner in which they are marketed is by no means neutral.

              Even then, what a man needs in a razor is different than what a woman needs. Shape, contour, abilities will be different. The same goes for many supposedly gender neutral things.

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      My mom wasn’t very good at shopping either. Not in the same way, though.

      Before going to the grocery store, she would look in the pantry and see what we had. If we had one iota of any item, that item was not purchased on that trip. One can of Coke in the pantry? We have Coke, no need to buy more. One box of cereal with not even a full bowl left? We have cereal, no need to buy more. A milk jug with only a cup left in it? We have milk, no need to buy more.

      We learned we better empty the pantry beforehand or we weren’t getting much the coming week.

    • iamjustjules says:

      right there with you. I shop for the girlfriend and I. When she comes back there’s a lot of pre-made and packaged stuff that she seems to hate using coupons for (why wouldn’t you, it’s not like they coupon brussel sprouts). However, I get a lot more real veggies and try to make things without too much outside preservatives. We spend about the same amount, but we don’t get as gassy when I buy.

  6. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    I haven’t really noticed grocery stores marketing specifically to women. I do notice them marketing to mothers. There’s a difference. And Mr. Pi gets frustrated at the grocery store not because he’s a man, but because there are six shelves of many different kinds of oil in different types and sizes and it’s just plain overwhelming. I get that way, too, especially if it’s an aisle I don’t go to very often, like crackers and cookies. If you go often enough, you get used to where things are and you know you can ignore all the other shelves because your brand of something is on the fourth shelf down.

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      I do notice them marketing to mothers.

      Yeah, the whole gag-inducing “stork parking” spaces are clear evidence of that.

      I used to park in them when my then-wife was with me. She would give me a funny look and I would say, “congratulations, let’s go buy alcohol to celebrate”.

      • George4478 says:

        A single parking space set aside for pregnant women makes you gag? How does your frail wittle-bitty self make it through the day?


        • Jules Noctambule says:

          My problem with them is that they’re usually right next to the handicapped-accessible spots, and those darling little mommies like to leave the carts in the spaces marked for wheelchair lifts, because it’s apparently JUST SO HARD to stick the groceries in the SUV, wheel the cart to the corral and then carry the child back to the vehicle. In the meantime, my mom’s lift has nowhere to go when lowered.

      • little stripes says:

        Sooo, you were an asshole that parked in a space that was not reserved for you?

        Being pregnant is not a walk in the park. Walking long distances can be uncomfortable, painful, or even dangerous.

        It’s just a parking space. Is it that difficult to park a bit further away from the front of the store, since you’re able-bodied and not pregnant? Or are you really that lazy? I’d say you are the one with the problem…

        • PunditGuy says:

          I’m against the idea of him parking in that spot, but being pregnant is not a disability. There are women giving birth in the tea fields where they work back in my country of origin, and you can’t walk an extra 15 feet to the door of your grocery store? How dangerous could that walk be? It’s not like tigers are chasing you.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        I don’t have these spaces at the grocery store. I’m referring more to grocery stores sending circulars of childrens products and devoting less space to other items, or all of the diaper coupons. I get Proctor and Gamble wants to send a billion diaper coupons, but would it kill the grocery store to have a coupon for apples?

        • Raanne says:

          in what world are children’s products and diapers only for mother’s? The diapers are advertised a lot because they are a huge expense, and something that is bought on a regular basis. ($35 box of diapers vs. $4 bag of apples – they woudl rather get someone in to buy the diapers).

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            You’re right, they’re for fathers too. My point is that a heck of a lot of targeted marketing when it comes to children’s products goes to women. Proctor and Gamble devotes pages and pages of coupons to diapers, which is fine – but since the grocery store doesn’t really do that (the manufacturers have it covered), I hope it would put out a coupon for fruits and vegetables instead.

      • neilb says:

        How about we label them “I can’t walk very well” spots and let social stigma take over?
        (It would be like at a church where the kids don’t take the close spots so the elderly people/guests can, or like a business where employees don’t take the close spots so their customers can?)
        The government making a spot ILLEGAL to park in should not be the only thing that allows courtesy. Calling pregnancy its own special cater-to-me class is a little strange and I understand why some people consider it objectionable.

  7. MattAlbie says:

    I used to get asked to go grocery shopping all the time. A few trips to the store systematically getting everything on the list slightly incorrect, and now I don’t get asked anymore.

    Point: Me! And all I had to do was get the lady friend to think I was incompetent. I can live with that.

    • Cat says:

      You’re using the same technique I use to get out of doing the laundry. It’s all good for her until you ruin her favorite bra…

    • Emerald4me says:

      That is the method Mr. Emeral used in our first few years of marriage, and darn it, it worked. Now I leave him home alone with the kids and their homework, and I take my sweet time shopping. He needed to be punished.

    • Keith is checking the Best Buy receipt of a breastfeeding mother (for tips!) says:

      Pro tip: this totally works for laundry, too.

  8. CubeRat says:

    When I saw this, I thought of the Carl‚Äôs Jr ads, the ones that showed the clueless guy in a grocery isle with the tag line “Without us, some guys would starve.”

    I don’t eat there, but I love some of their ads.

    • doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

      Best Carls Jr. ad is from the future in Idiocracy. You can buy the shirt with it also, but probably can’t wear it to work…

  9. SlappyWhite says:

    32 year old single guy here. Been doing my own grocery shopping since I was 18. I’m positive a lot of other guys out there do it too. I fail to realize why this is newsworthy or impressive.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Because marketing companies are steeped in gender stereotypes they think are still totally valid, like how men work and women stay home and take care of kids so women obviously know more about childcare and cooking.

      • MMD says:

        This. The story is only newsworthy to marketing departments, not people who actually participate in the real world.

      • lim says:

        And all women go crazy over shoes and all little girls want their things to be pink.

        • LabGnome says:

          Don’t forget that all men are incompetent, idiotic, beer chugging, neanderthals.

          I suppose that is preferable to the stereotype of the bitchy disapproving girlfriend/wife though.

          • BorkBorkBork says:

            Thank the media for those two stereotypes (compare characters of different genders on popular TV shows).

            Both bother me to no end.

            • BorkBorkBork says:

              *Sorry… should have said: “Thank the media for reinforcing those two stereotypes.”*

              Hands get ahead of my head sometimes.

    • NotYou007 says:

      I’m a 41 year old divorced male but even when I was married the wife and I shopped together and yes, I always pushed the cart, it’s a man thing.

      But prior to getting married I did my own shopping and after the divorce I still do my own. I didn’t get married to have a woman cook and clean for me.

    • Extended-Warranty says:

      Because any statistic about men is breaking news. Any statistic about any other gender is sexist, or about any race is racist.

  10. marillion says:

    I am the 31%… I do 98% of the grocery shopping and most of the cooking as well..

    When my wife does the shopping, she ALWAYS comes home with a bunch of stuff that strays off the list (and usually the diet).. It’s even worse when she takes the kiddos.

    As for me, getting to the store for an hour is a good escape… I approach groceries like I do clothes shopping.. I make a list, I get the stuff as quickly as possible, and then get the heck outta there..

    • Cat says:

      I make a list, I get the stuff as quickly as possible, and then get the heck outta there..

      MAN shopping.
      Shopping isn’t entertainment. It’s a mission to be accomplished as quickly and efficiently as possible.

      • varro says:

        I sometimes can hear the Mission: Impossible music in my head when I’m in the grocery store….

        • frugalmom says:

          As a mom who often shops in the 15 minutes between leaving work and picking up from daycare, I hear that song in my head when shopping a lot.

          I also coupon, and am very aware of the budget. My husband less so, only because he doesn’t shop often and doesn’t just “know” that juice is $1.50 at Aldi, so a sale for $1.89 at Target isn’t a deal.

      • 451.6 says:

        Don’t forget to pick up a pack of Dr. Pepper 10

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I love grocery shopping, but it’s because I’m a ninja at it. I have a list properly categorized by section (meats, produce, etc.) and then it’s divided into items that are on sale and items that may or may not be on sale, but are just needed anyway. If I’m really, really organized I order the produce by where it is in the produce section so I don’t have to double back (I know my grocery store very well).

      • marillion says:

        This, this and this… I plan my list out according to my pre-determined route. Speed, stealth and no time to dally…

        To be very fair, my wife keeps a VERY close tab on the finances, so I make it a goal to not go past $100 per grocery trip (and for two adults and two teens, that’s asking a lot)… But due to dietary considerations, we don’t buy much if any pre-packaged stuff, sodas, cookies or chips, so that helps cut down on the list of things to get.

        To add to her fairness, she hates going shopping in general, so letting me go is no great sacrifice on her part.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          Skipping the middle aisles really helps with time. A lot of stuff like flour, oil, some juice, and bread are in the middle aisles but for the most part we stick to the periphery.

    • VectorVictor says:

      “When my wife does the shopping, she ALWAYS comes home with a bunch of stuff that strays off the list (and usually the diet).. It’s even worse when she takes the kiddos.”

      This, and my wife is completely oblivious as to our finances (by her own willful ignorance), so even if there’s a list, she strays $50 or so off the mark, even if she has a short list of $10 items. Plus, she has a thing about buying store brands, buys too much junk food, and tends to forget to even buy everything on the ******* list. *sigh*

      Come to think of it, it’s just safer for both our finances and my sanity if she didn’t shop at all.

      • failurate says:

        It’s a god-damned epidemic. My wife does the exact same things. I do 99% of the grocery shopping because she refuses to respect the budget.
        We talked about this and she told me that she doesn’t even look at prices when she shops. I about keeled over.

  11. smo0 says:

    Of course they are, I haven’t gone shopping in years because of it. :D

  12. BacteriaEP says:

    Why all the snark in the article?

    As a guy who does plenty of shopping I agree with many of these ideas, especially with regards to the bathroom aisle. I need shampoo… what I don’t need is a hundred different brands telling me about how they’ll make my hair shine with vitamin who-gives-a-shit. Show me the cheapest option and let me get on with my day.

    If more men are shopping then maybe they should cater to us a bit more…

    • MMD says:

      Ah, but you assume there that all women want that crap, too. Maybe at least some of us want to find a basic, inexpensive shampoo and get just as frustrated as you do.

      • Martha Gail says:

        Usually all the cheap stuff is grouped together. If you can’t find the entire shelf of Suave, then maybe that’s your problem. I like to look at all the options. It’s nice me time, even if I end up buying the one I always buy.

    • The_IT_Crone says:

      I’m a woman and I don’t want all the crap either. The problem isn’t that they are catering to WOMEN, because I’m certainly not being catered to.

    • Wasp is like Requiem for a Dream without the cheery bits says:

      If more men are shopping then maybe they should cater to us a bit more..

      Life’s tough, Daisy. Especially in the grocery store, suck it up.

    • caradrake says:

      You know, I like Aldi for this reason. It’s tiny (like the size of a CVS) and full of the Aldi house-brand, thus very little debate of “should I get brand A or B.” I need shampoo? They have one type. Canned vegetables? One option. Generally, at least – right now, for whatever fracking reason, my Aldi has FIVE different brands of instant mashed potatoes.

      It’s organized fairly well, too. I can get in and get out in about 30 minutes, even for full shopping trips. Easily half the amount of time I’d spend in a Walmart or grocery store. Prices are either the same or drastically less – about a year ago, Aldi had their milk about $1.50 cheaper than anyone else. Sadly, the prices of milk and eggs have both crept upwards so now they are on par with everyone else.

      • Kate says:

        So instead you get stuck with all the crap stuff that’s overpriced because people won’t eat it.

        • The Slime Oozing Out From Your TV Set says:

          Only if they are brand-conscious idiots. The Aldis around me have produce at least on par with other chains, typically better for those items that are lacking in quality at other chains, tend to have more in-state in-season produce than other chains, their canned and frozen vegetables are about the same quality as anybody else’s, and *nothing* is even remotely overpriced.

          Aldi and Save-A-Lot are just plain awesome.

    • Shadowman615 says:

      The snark is the author’s way of responding to the Chicago Tribune’s “breaking newsflash” that would have been relevant in 1965.

  13. The Lone Gunman says:

    So what exactly does a store stock the ‘man aisle’ with?

    Booze and Porn? Cheerleader calenders?

    • Labratt21 says:

      Guns, Jason Statham Blu rays and lotion.

      • little stripes says:

        One mention of Jason Statham and my lady-brain is now paralyzed with lust. I’m not even really joking. Now I need to go home and watch Crank and Crank 2 (I really love ridiculous action flicks).

    • varro says:

      The Fred Meyer near our place has one – bacon on the left, beer on the right. (The left also has other lunchmeat and cheese…)

  14. Bob says:

    If more men went grocery shopping it would be a smoother experience for everyone in the store, because men know that when using a shopping cart you follow the rules of the road. When going down an aisle you stay to the right instead of zig-zagging all over. You don’t park your cart sideways in the middle of the aisle. You don’t just pull out with your cart at an intersection without looking first. You yield to others in the main aisle and then pull out only when it’s clear. Men are just better drivers, and the same goes for handling shopping carts, too. I’m sorry, but someone had to say it. If one more absentminded female pulls out with her cart in front of me she’s just gonna get rammed next time. Oh, and leave your bratty kids at home, too.

    • El_Red says:

      Lol, where is that magic place that you live? The 50? When I go to Costo roughly half of men/women don’t respect common sense cart driving rules.
      As to the men being better drivers; then why women’s car insurance is so much cheaper?

    • El_Red says:

      Lol, where is that magic place that you live? The 50? When I go to Costo roughly half of men/women don’t respect common sense cart driving rules.
      As to the men being better drivers; then why women’s car insurance is so much cheaper?

    • Misha says:

      Oh, and leave your bratty kids at home, too

      Sweet, thanks for offering to babysit!

    • theduckay says:

      No. No one “had to say it”. Your opinion is outdated, misogynistic stereotyping.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      My experience tells me otherwise. Grocery stores are lawless. NO ONE follows the rules of the road because as soon as you try, everyone else foils you and you end up weaving down the aisle just like everyone else.

      • Wasp is like Requiem for a Dream without the cheery bits says:


        In the grocery store it’s every woman for herself. Only the strong survive. I’ve got a scar from when a woman stabbed me over the last box of cinnamon life. True story.

    • nodaybuttoday says:

      I don’t know what part of the world you live in, but I am glad my husband doesn’t push his cart the same way he drives his car. Otherwise there’d be non-stop cursing and yelling. In fact most of the people I see weaving in and out of traffic are men on their bluetooth headsets in their mecedes.

      Somehow though I always get stuck behind the old person in driving my car AND pushing my cart. Go figure. And it doesn’t matter how many times I say “pardon me”, he doesn’t hear me…

    • little stripes says:

      “Men are just better drivers,”

      Is that why men pay more for insurance than women do?

      Seriously, look up the statistics. The statistics don’t fit your sexist notion *at all*.

      And, “Oh, and leave your bratty kids at home, too.”

      Wow. Okay.

      You really have issues with women, don’t you? Sad.

      • LabGnome says:

        I hear, and I honestly do not have numbers to back this up, that there is more accidents caused by females it is just that males cause more damage when they do.

        I would contribute this to speedier/angrier(revenge/road rage) driving by males and more frequent but much much less catastrophic accidents by females.

        Not that I ever base decisions on this piece of possibly erroneous information. One of these days I should find out if it is correct just for the sake of knowing.

    • Jules Noctambule says:

      Old men are the worst offenders in the diagonal-cart-aisle-blocking where I usually shop.

    • SmokeyBacon says:

      Really because when I let Mr.SmokeyBacon pilot the cart in the grocery store he is a horrible driver with it – he parks it on one side and browses the other (keep it in front of you so you aren’t blocking the whole aisle), parks it on an angle, etc. I always give up and push because it drives me crazy – it should be as simple as driving a car but it isn’t. So no, men are not better with carts.

  15. anime_runs_my_life says:

    The husband is very capable of shopping. He doesn’t because he works in a grocery store, and after 8 hours of dealing with customers, he just wants to go home and relax. But he has gotten stuff if I’ve asked him to for dinner or if he wants to make stuff (like chili, stew, etc.) in the crock pot.

    *eagerly awaits the “Men can cook too!” article*

    • marillion says:

      It’s true.. Men CAN cook.. And not just throw stuff in a crockpot (even though that’s what’s going on in my kitchen right now)…

      Just last night I made a herb/parm/spinach fish dish that was pretty awesome (the wife even said so)… Then I baked a brie for the office today, but I’m not admitting that publically..

  16. duncanblackthorne says:

    I have no idea what they’re talking about here. I’ve lived alone the vast majority of my life and have never felt like the grocery store was the domain of women exclusively.

  17. Firevine says:

    I do all the grocery shopping, and the cooking, while the fiancee just sits around watching tv and doesn’t clean or do dishes or oh god what am I getting myself into…

    • Cat says:

      Your fiance, does she have red hair, sit a mean couch, eat Bon-Bons, and is she from Wanker County?


      • PunditGuy says:

        That is not going to magically improve after marriage, and these sorts of things are a lot more important than you might think.

  18. balthisar says:

    I’m a man who does nearly 100% of the grocery shopping. I don’t need a “man aisle.” I do need people to understand basic rules of traffic, though. And I also wish people would get out of the way. And I wish entire families wouldn’t go to the grocery store (they’re like plaque in arteries, and constrict good flow).

    • MylesMDT says:

      Exactly. Why can’t people follow the same rules of the road while pushing a cart? Don’t block intersections with empty baskets while chatting with your neighbor. You are right about the whole families blocking traffic. It’s not the kids, it’s letting them run around like the store is a playground.

    • working class Zer0 says:

      I’m a guy and I do the grocery shopping about 1/2 the time. Couldn’t agree with you more.
      You want to stand around talking, fine go to an area where your not in everyones way!
      You need to bring your kids with you? No problem, make sure they know their manners, and watch them, their your responsibility. (I have kids and sometimes they go with me)
      You often find yourself staring at the food or into space oblivious to what’s going on around you? See your doctor, you need to change the dosage of your medication.

      • SusieHomemaker says:

        This is truth. I have 3 kids that have to go with me every time. I have them trained to walk behind me like little ducklings when we’re in an isle with people in it. Generally I try to go early on a weekday morning so there aren’t many other patrons but it does help to have the kids well trained. They’re also strictly forbidden to whine for junk. They can ask for anything once but if the answer is no (as it usually is), that’s it, end of discussion. It was hard to get here but so nice to have it always go so smoothly.

    • BorkBorkBork says:

      I wish shopping carts had airhorns.

  19. shepd says:

    Sounds great. Personally, the thing I hate buying the most is soap and soap related products. HA HA yes your joke is funny. But really, it’s because they’re never in what I think of as a logical place. Last time I looked for them at a Walmart soap bars were tucked in with the toothbrushes and the body wash was with the hair products in an separate aisle. Makes no sense to me.

  20. The_IT_Crone says:

    …what year is it?

    My guy does all of the cooking and most of the shopping. This is why I have not gone on a murderous rampage through a grocery store. Yet.

    I guess it’s a miracle he can figure out how to get food home, huh? Amazing. Guys should be ticked off about how condescending this is.

    • Stickdude says:

      Guys should be ticked off about how condescending this is.

      That was my initial reaction, but then I thought about it some more.

      If Mary Beth Quirk needs to reassure herself that she’s an Important Person because she can find her way around a grocery store when men can’t, that’s her problem, not mine.

      • Jules Noctambule says:

        You might want to get your sarcasm detector checked out sometime soon.

      • Shadowman615 says:

        You’re not quite following. Mary Beth Quirk, the consumerist article, is not being condescending — she is satirizing the condescending message in the Chicago Tribune article.

        For another example of a similar sarcastic tone, see, oh just about every other article on Consumerist and pretty much every Gawker blog (former consumerist parent).

  21. zerogspacecow says:

    What’s a “primary grocery shopper”? My fiancee and I do roughly the same amount of grocery shopping. We either stop on our way home, or we go to the store together.

    Also, I don’t really notice much being marketed specifically to women, except when I buy shampoo. I can never find the shampoo that’s supposed to be for men and doesn’t smell like peaches or something.

  22. Chimpotle says:

    I do the grocery shopping for my family. Not because I am a man, but because I spent four years working in a grocery store. Oh, and because my wife routinely steers the kids’ race car cart into end caps.

  23. and_another_thing says:
  24. shelman23 says:

    Never had a woman do my shopping. It’s probably because I’m cheaper than they are & won’t buy things if they aren’t a good deal. For example, I love Heinz Ketchup but if it isn’t a good price I’ll buy Del Monte instead. It’s little dumb things like that, that add up real fast.
    It’s probably just the women in my family.
    But I have no debt, and they ALL do.
    I win.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Yeah, it’s probably the women in your family. I don’t buy a brand of ketchup other but Heinz but I wait for Heinz to go on sale before I buy it. It’s about being smart when you’re shopping. Nothing to do with gender. Kudos to you for being smart about how you spend money. I wish more people would get it.

  25. BrightShopperGettingBrighter says:

    Lately, I’ve been working 80 hour weeks with two full time jobs. During this time, my Mr. BrightShopper has been shopping for us. It’s frustrating because I can stretch the dollar about three times as far. He likes it and he buys it. Cost savings be damned. The shopping list needs to be painfully generic for him to think of looking for sale items…

    After a stupid expensive trip (6% savings!) using a list, our list changed to contained “breakfast baked good that could be a vehicle for cream cheese” or “cereal for adults that is less sugary than a kids cereal”. If kleenex was listed, he would buy Kleenex with a capital K. Now it’s “high quality tissues, on sale”. He is averaging 13% savings now. My trips are a failure if they are below 30% savings.

  26. ap0 says:

    I think Mary Beth Quirk hates men.

  27. XTREME TOW says:

    Yeah, well, it wont replace hunting down animals and brutally killing them.
    Standing at the meat counter holding my plastic card like I’m about to shoot a steak just isn’t quite the same as actually hunting it down.
    No noise. No muzzle flash. No burning sulfur. No BOOM.
    If companies really, really want to cater to Men, they would make it more like a hunting expedition. Or fishing, depends on which section of the store you are in.

    • Cat says:

      Make it like a duck shoot at the carnival, with real guns and animals?

      I think you may be on to something there…


    • axhandler1 says:

      Ok, currently getting an idea for the best grocery store ever. Although it would have to be the size of a game preserve, and a shopping trip might take all day. But talk about freshness!

  28. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    What exactly goes into these “men aisles” anyway?

    There are millions of products that cater specifically to women (lotions, body wash, hair color, makeup, glitter, etc.) so it makes sense to have a women’s aisle. But what goes in the man aisle? Girly mags and condoms? Contraception is technically the responsibility of both parties.

  29. NightWriter says:

    I dunno. As a man, I rather like contingents of women and teenage girls. They smell nice, are pretty to look at and make shopping less boring. Does that make me Metrosexual?

  30. kalaratri says:

    I grew up with a dad who grocery shopped because if my mom went, she’d spend all day comparison shopping and then end up buying brands we don’t like. He may spend more, but at least everything is edible.

  31. sparrowmint says:

    My husband isn’t afraid of shopping. The problem is that if he shops, he’ll come home with $200 worth of crackers and cookies, and not much else.

  32. Kestris says:

    No shit men are capable of grocery shopping. Sometimes, my husband is even better at it than me!

  33. DWMILLER says:

    How about a smart checker. One that sees you with a sixer and a bag of charcoal; they just ring you up and take your money. No talking,no begging to donate to charity and no reward card pushing. Clean easy and outta there in seconds. Or better yet a “man check out lane”.

  34. sweetgreenthing says:

    My husband did not get this memo, and that’s okay. I have the most meticulous, perfect food shopping routine down and I actually enjoy it. I do, however, make it so damn easy that if I died right now he would know where the list was, what we need, and what aisle it is on, arranged on the list from closest-to-the-entrance to closest-to-the-exit.

  35. Slader says:

    As a man who does all the shopping, I find this article to be both sexist and condescending. I must say however, that I look forward to more men shopping, that way maybe Proctor and Gamble and several other companies will realize they are p*ssing off a lot of males and stop airing all their “men are idiots” commercials.

  36. Mr.DuckSauce says:

    Wait, they are going to Market to me in their aisle’s, ALL THE BACON AND EGGS THEY HAVE?

  37. yungjerry703 says:

    Learned to cook from my father at a very young age. My skills have always helped me land females and wow strangers. honestly I love the creativity of coming up with meals with whats on sale, of pushing the limits at cook outs. I usually grab a stout or an ipa (i love wegmans) and a light snack before i wander around the store coming up with my next masterpiece. I’m 26 years old and have been in charge of thanksgiving for the past 4 years. my bacon wrapped cheese stuffed meatballs are sought out like a pair of space jam jordans.

  38. Eugene says:

    I do most of the Grocery shopping, wife gets anxious after some rude person pushed their cart into her (pregnant) stomach because they needed into a shelf first.
    I go at 6:00am before going to work so there is less people there and can carry 50lbs of groceries in one of the reusable bags so we don’t have 25 bags like when the store bags for us.
    I do the budget and keep the pantry inventory anyway so I know items that need restocked first anyway.

  39. gman863 says:

    Segregated shopping…what a concept!

    Next thing you know, Target will have an asile full of tampons, aromatherapy candles and soap opera magazines with a huge hanging sign stating “BREAT FEEDING STATION”.

    • gman863 says:


      Hey Consumerist, it’s almost 2012. How about finally adding an “edit” button?

  40. maynurd says:

    How about just leaving everything in the same spot. Stop rearranging the entire freaking store every few months hoping I will buy more things from being forced to wander around looking for what I want.

  41. bitplayer says:

    Lot’s of single women in grocery stores.

  42. madanthony says:

    Does this mean there will finally be some decent magazines at the check-out isle, instead of Women’s Day and tabloids?

    I have noticed that Target keeps the men’s soap/shampoo/body wash in a separate section. I actually like that, since I don’t have to dig through 40 bazillion tubes of flower-scented bodywash to get my bar soap.

    (31 year old single guy, so I’ve got to shop if I want to eat.)

  43. SamiJ says:

    Hey grocery stores, you know what would be useful? An app that would allow me to input my shopping list and print out the locations of my items. frozen pizza-6Br (aisle 6, back right)

  44. ferd says:

    I’m pretty good at it. She gives me a list and I can what ever is on it. Rarely takes me more than a half hour. I also don’t forget the beer.

  45. Froggee285 says:

    This is sexist. God forbid they were making special designed “women aisles” in Home Depot, the backlash would be intense.

  46. The Slime Oozing Out From Your TV Set says:

    So, will the new man isles have better produce, and more cereal grains? Cause I need onions, cabbage, and celery without black mold spots on them way more than easier navigate skin and hair care isles (not that such isles are not unorganized monstrosities, but…).

  47. rtwest says:

    My dad always did the grocery shopping when I was a kid. I went with him most of the time, too, so I learned HOW to shop by looking at unit prices and things like that. He would leave me behind sometimes, though, because I would start facing and organizing the shelves…I was born to work in retail, I guess. :[

  48. Russell's Tempest says:

    This semi-stereotype sums it up well, though I’m a meandering shopper myself:

  49. dks64 says:

    My (now ex) boyfriend went shopping a few weeks ago for meals and came home without nothing but candy and snack food. That didn’t work out so well.