Source: The Mercury, 20 November, 2000, p.3
By WENDY BUSFIELD in Melbourne MEN are taking over supermarket trolleys and spending more at the checkout, new research shows. More men than ever are tackling grocery and food shopping, with spending levels jumping 17% in the past two years. Research by AC Nielsen shows one in five Australian families has a male as the main grocery shopper. And most of them fall into the "what's for dinner?" category, stopping at supermarkets on the way home from work between 4pm and 6pm. "Traditional roles in the way we buy food are changing," AC Nielsen research chief David Altermar. said yesterday. "Men are doing more shopping and they're doing it more often. "With more women working and fewer nuclear families, it all adds up to more men in supermarkets Women with children still spend most on food and groceries, but the male-female gap has been closing for several years. In another major shift in supermarket spending habits, researchers identified a huge market for pre-prepared fresh meals. Mr Alterman said supermarkets had started offering prepared food, but the market was expected to explode in the next few years. "We haven't seen anything yet," he said. "Supermarkets still have a long way to go, especially for the people looking for tonight's dinner and not much else. "You just have to look at the figures. Fifty per cent of people don't like cooking, but 75% of meals are still cooked from sc. etch. "I don't think retailers have picked up this change in mood." The report, commissioned by the Australian Retailers' Associ- ation and unveiled at yesterday's Australian Food Congress in Mel- bourne, said traditional family households with mum, dad and children represent only 36% of Australian households. The bigger group was single and double-income earners with no children accounting for 47 per cent. It showed the average suburban Australian ate the evening meal at home six nights a week, a quarter of them ordering takeaway food.
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