(NPN) - When it comes to grocery shopping, it's not just a question about where to shop and what to buy. These days, who's pushing the cart is up for grabs, too.
Food shopping is no longer primarily a female task.
Just ask Trey Burley. He does nearly all the shopping for his busy family of four. He says it simply makes sense because, "My wife is the, she's the breadwinner for the family. She earns all the money. So, it's only logical that I do all the shopping."
Trey isn't the only man cruising the frozen food aisle.
A recent Men's Health survey found that 84% of those who responded said that they are now the primary shopper in their household. Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert says that may be a little high since only men were surveyed, but there is no doubt the number of male food shoppers is up. "Most of the surveys that we're seeing…really equate it to be about 50/50," Lempert says.
Yes, nearly as many men are now grocery shopping as women. Lempert says stores need to pay attention because men traditionally shop differently than women. "Typically, a woman has a shopping list and is planning for a whole week, many meals. A male, well, that's just about one meal, an occasion. And, they're 'hunter-gatherers', and they go into the store, find what they need, and they get out," he says.
Experts say men often like non-traditional options such as club, convenience or online stores because of their flexibility. And they say brands need to remember that convenience is key since men tend to browse less than women.
Trey said he used to be a convenience shopper until his wife taught him that planning equals savings. "I was always kind of a fly by the seat of my pants kind of shopper. 'Oh, we need this. I'll go to the store. Monday through Friday, I'll go every day.' And that was not good for our budget. So, she taught me that if I go once a week, it's better for the bottom line."
In terms of the bottom line for stores, Trey says he has one suggestion: "To maybe show just more guys shopping in ads. Because you don't really see it that much."
By the way, the shopping carries over into the kitchen. Trey does most of the cooking at his house. And 77% of the guys who took part in the Men's Health survey said they had prepared meals for others.