What about the boys?

Do we not give men enough credit for cooking?

Maybe it’s just the type of guy I befriend, but most of my male friends enjoy being in the kitchen. Not only do they enjoy it, a lot of them are better cooks than myself and my gal counterparts.

Just the other day a male friend was relaying his previous night’s masterpiece that included fish, spices, oils and some vegetables I had never heard of. What his dinner didn’t include was a recipe. Since recipes are the number one ingredient for all my meals, I was well impressed.

When I conduct research and speak to manufacturers and produce growers for my GHQ articles, one constant I am met is how they classify their target market—women from mid-twenties to fifty-ish, approximately.

Sure, tradition prevails. Women across this age range stocking up for their families do make up the majority of shoppers wandering the aisles. No one can argue that.

But right now cooking is the cool thing to do—male or female. Flip to The Food Network or any of the other half-dozen competitive cooking shows and its obvious that men have a prominent role in the kitchen. Wander through the aisles of Whole Foods in New York City and you’ll see the boys stocking their bachelor pad, or even better, preparing a dinner for their ladies.

So why don’t we see more advertisements geared towards men?

One industry expert commented recently that men aren’t a large enough market to target them with advertising, but that there is nothing to imply that current advertising to women doesn’t reach them successfully.

Hmmmm. Do men respond to family-oriented, women-targeted advertising for food products? Good question.

As both a consumer and a journalist in the industry, I think retailers could benefit from some targeted advertising and in-store promotions catered towards the amateur Gordon Ramsays out there at a local level. This could be as simple as cross-merchandising simple meal solutions for one. It could be as exciting as having male chefs offer in-store cooking lessons and samples.

Retailers located in cities full of single-household guys could be missing a key opportunity to grow sales. Target the NYC wanna-be chefs and the West coast barbecue masters. Encourage them to shop, purchase and cook. If they feel the love, they’ll come back.

Men gotta eat too!

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