Men are taking more control over grocery shopping and cooking than ever before, with 84% of them saying they're the primary grocery shoppers in their households (a 19 percentage point increase over the past decade), according the latest research from Men’s Health magazine, a brand of The Rodale Inc., Emmaus, Pa.  

The study, "How Men Shop for Food," conducted online with Harris Poll, Rochester, N.Y., surveyed U.S. adult men to measure their attitudes and behaviors regarding shopping for groceries, eating healthy, preparing meals for themselves and others and their influence over purchasing decisions. 

“The study’s results continue to challenge many gender stereotypes related to food shopping and cooking,” says Chris Peel, vice president and publisher. “Men have an active role in each stage of the food purchasing process—before getting to the store, while there and when cooking the food they’ve bought. Food retailers are uniquely positioned to appeal to men throughout this cycle and to evolve their marketing plans based on this compelling data.” 

Results of the study reveal that men are not only taking more ownership of food shopping, but two-thirds (66%) of them are also deciding what to buy before they get to the store. Thirty-five percent of men have been influenced by an online ad to try a new food or beverage, and 13% put specific brands of items on their shopping lists (up 9 percentage points from 2010). Two-thirds (66%) of men who are married or living with a partner use grocery lists often or all the time (up 15 percentage points from 2010), and almost all of them (98%) have input into the list.

Compared to a decade ago, more men are buying large groups of items at once and shop alone. Meanwhile, 70% are primary shoppers for big food trips (16-plus items) and 43% are making those trips by themselves.

An increasing number of men are turning up in the kitchen, as well, with 93% of them preparing meals for themselves and 77% preparing meals for others. Male consumption of online cooking videos is up considerably since 2010; almost half (48%) watched cooking videos in the last 12 months, and 46% of those men watched on social media (up 39 percentage points from 2010). Men are experimenting with additional food brands too, with 86% having tried a new brand in the past 12 months.

Survey methodology

This survey was conducted online March 10-21 among 1,021 U.S. male adults ages 18 and older. The survey was previously conducted in 2013, 2010 and 2007 using similar online methodology and sample size. Qualified respondents were weighted to demographic targets for education, age, race, region and income for the U.S. male 18-plus population. In addition to demographics, the weighting algorithm included a propensity score that reduces the self-selection bias that may be present in online panel samples. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.