US dads take control of purchases

14 June 2012

BOSTON: The FMCG purchase decisions of US fathers are more likely to be influenced by ads and promotions than word of mouth, new research from PR agency Cone Communications has shown.

According to the report, in-store promotions are used by 57% of fathers as a key channel for gathering information about which grocery products to buy, compared to 50% for advertising and just 38% for recommendations from friends and family.

Among moms, 69% mentioned promotions, 46% advertising and 45% word-of-mouth.

In all, just over half (52%) of dads polled by Cone claimed they were "primarily responsible" for grocery purchase decisions, while 38% said they shared the decision-making with others. By contrast, 83% of moms claimed primary responsibility.

There was general agreement that fathers are having an increasing say in family grocery purchase decisions. In all, 53% of dads and 35% of moms agreed their influence had risen in the last few years, while just 6% and 10% respectively said dads' influence had lessened.

Bill Fleishman, president of Cone Communications, said: "Marketers need to recognize the growing number of dads in the supermarket aisles who are taking their roles seriously and can benefit from brands who provide tools and shortcuts to make shopping easier."

Cone also found striking gender variations in several aspects of grocery shopping. Almost one in four (24%) of dads said they perform some form of background research on the products they wish to purchase, compared to just 11% of moms.

Online sources of information also proved popular, with 44% of male respondents seeking out digital media to shape their grocery purchase choices, including 15% who visited product websites and 11% who used social media to gather information.

Data sourced from Cone Communications; additional content by Warc staff