Picture this: a kitchen, pots simmering on the stove. Someone is chopping ingredients for a gourmet meal. Expect this to be a woman?
Wrong. Chances are very good that the chef, and the purchaser of the wine, the china and the espresso machine, is a man.
A recent study shows that men, either as part of families or alone, are in large numbers buying household goods and foods and consider themselves knowledgeable and interested.
A separate study also says men are becoming more interested in purchasing skin care and fragrance products, with part of the growing demand stemming from the increasing frequency of men doing the household shopping.
Although women are consistently targeted by advertisers and marketers as the primary household purchaser, men are shopping, cooking and giving parties, the statistics show.
According to Shifrin Research, a public opinion research firm, men who enjoy food and wine--epicures--make up 30% of the adult male population.
And according to the survey for Food and Wine magazine, men who like to cook at home and eat in restaurants appear to be as involved in buying food as women in general.
Male epicures may not define themselves as such, but for the purpose of the study they are, because they fit certain criteria, such as enjoying fine dining, wine and purchasing and preparing food.
Ignoring men as potential purchasers is as foolish as car companies that until recently targeted their advertisements only to men, said Cheryl Wilbur, director of research, sales and development for Food and Wine.
While more than 90% of women surveyed buy various common food items, male epicures and male subscribers to Food and Wine buy them at slightly higher percentages.
In all categories of purchasing food and non-food items, the men were as involved or slightly more so than women.
For example, more than 68% of male epicures were likely to buy pots and pans, a figure equal to that of women.
When it comes to knives and cutlery, 56% of male epicures said they purchased them in the past year or intend to buy the items. Women were below 50%.
More than half the male epicures (61%) said shopping for food is fun, compared to 49% of women in the control group.
What does the male epicure look like? According to Shifrin, he’s between 25 and 54 years old and has an average household income of $37,500 a year. More than 80% have at least some college education.
Seventy-eight percent of male epicures are married or in domestic partnerships and 53% have children under 18.
Eighty percent own their own homes and 62% always or frequently do the grocery shopping for the household.