November 2019
Men’s Online Grocery Shopping Behavior
Suggests New Marketing Strategies Needed   

By Lynne Cooke

Men are usually not the primary grocery shoppers for their families. But in a surprising break from traditional shopper demographics, a recent survey by Inmar Analytics found that two of three male online grocery shoppers (65%) do most or all the shopping for their households.

With more men living alone, leading single-adult households with children or taking on their full share of family responsibilities, males are emerging more and more as primary purchase decision-makers and shoppers. This key insight suggests that shopping marketing programs need to be re-examined.

Inmar, a data-driven technology-enabled services company, recently surveyed 2,000 online grocery shoppers, 45 percent of which were men, to better understand their motivations, major concerns and overall mindset when it comes to purchasing their groceries online.

While most grocery shopping still takes place in physical brick-and-mortar stores, online grocery shopping has seen a steady rise over the past several years. Shoppers are drawn to the convenience and speed that online shopping offers. In fact, Nielsen predicts that online grocery sales will capture 20 percent of the total grocery market as early as 2022, reaching $100 billion in consumer sales.

More men as the primary shoppers for groceries within a household represents a change. Inmar suggests that the greatest lure for men in online grocery shopping is convenience:

  • 53 percent of male respondents admitted they conduct grocery shop online for convenience, while 25 percent said a free trial and/or discount led them to make their first purchase(s).
  • 29 percent of men responded that they choose e-commerce for grocery shopping because they can shop at their convenience, there are no crowds associated with online grocery shopping (29 percent) and they don't have to wait in line to check out (25 percent).

“Marketers need to take a fresh perspective on who they are targeting with e-Commerce, and how to best meet these consumers’ needs,” said Diana Medina, Director of e-Commerce Solutions at Inmar. “The findings from this survey represent a continuing shift from conventional marketing wisdom for grocery shopping. While women have traditionally been the primary shopper and decision-maker in the household, new technology and changing societal norms have transformed the shopper dynamic. This new data is forcing marketers to think differently about their marketing and communication efforts. It’s opening up opportunities to engage with new audiences that were not part of the core target in the past.”

The survey results also highlight data supporting the idea that men commonly plan out their meals prior to shopping and turn to outside resources when doing so, indicating similar behavior to that of female shoppers.

Other notable findings from the survey include:

  • Male shoppers are as likely as female shoppers to plan their meals ahead of time as 68 percent of both genders responded that they plan their meals in advance.
  • Men commonly turn to outside resources for planning their meals. Twenty-six percent indicated they use meal-planning services and 26 percent marked that they use meal kits. A further 53 percent of male respondents indicated that they would add semi-prepared meals to their online grocery order if the option was available.
  • Men (41 percent) are more likely to purchase alcoholic beverages online than their female counterparts.
  • Sixty-seven percent of men surveyed reported that they spent between $50 and $200 during a typical online shopping trip. In addition, roughly 30 percent of male online grocery shoppers surveyed spend 25 percent or more of their total monthly grocery bill online.
  • Thirty-one percent of males surveyed indicated that the frequency of their online shopping would increase over the next year.

For more information about the Inmar Analytics' 2018 e-Commerce survey and the evolving behavior of online grocery shoppers, visit

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