Don’t forget Generation Y — or the guys

08/10/2012 09:34:00 AM
Fred Wilkinson

Thanks to social media, the younger generation’s trends and enthusiasms are more of an open book than at any time in history.

Marketers are wise to pay attention and listen.

Aisle of man

The New York Post recently had a story about an Upper West Side grocery store using a creative approach to attract a large yet often overlooked market segment — men.

Westside Market NYC boasts a “man aisle.”

The aisle’s product mix is markedly produce-free, including alcohol, toiletries and barbecue sauce among its offerings.

The article notes that nearly a third of men shop for their families, up from 14% in the 1980s.

On top of that, 14 million men (mostly from the ages of 35 to 64) are living alone in the U.S., according to a USA Today report.

The man aisle’s product lineup aside, these guys eat fruits and vegetables. Many should probably be eating more of them.

When was the last time a fresh produce promotion was targeted at men? Other than Mexican avocados teaming up with Coors beer a couple of years ago and maybe some grilling-themed efforts, guys have been mostly overlooked.

There’s opportunity there for marketers who play their cards right.

Sure, there are plenty of health-conscious men who would respond to a nutrition pitch, but that doesn’t mean an appeal to the taste buds should be overlooked.

I’ve seen lettuce and tomatoes cross-promoted with bacon and bread for BLTs.

What about russets and butter? Broccoli and shredded cheese? There are plenty of tasty, easy-to-prepare, cross-promotional combinations that could appeal to single male shoppers.

Maybe it’s time to target these guys with a campaign like, “Fruits and vegetables: They’re good for you, but they don’t have to be.”

fwilkinson@thepacker.com

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