The future of fatherhood from the retail level

I closed my last post speaking on potential. If you recall, my recent trip to Mexico was an eye-opening look at the untapped opportunities for growth that exist in a highly competitive market.

Well, I’m here again to talk about potential. This time though — and trust me here, I know it’s a tired term — I’m talking about Millennials. Specifically, Millennial dads. As these young adults are starting to age into fatherhood, they’re once again demolishing paradigms.

Marketers have always viewed women as the decision-makers when it comes to household goods and groceries. It’s an old-fashioned point of view perhaps, but it’s been a statistically relevant one. However, as we often see with an ascendant cohort, the numbers are on the move.

Women now make up 40% of the global workforce, and thus, alongside the rise of Millennials, we’ve also seen a correlating shift in parental responsibility towards equality in the sexes. In fact, over 50% of Millennial dads claim full or partial responsibility for major in-home childcare, as well as slating “being a good parent” as one of the most important things in life.

Of the 40 million Millennial men, 27% of them are dads. There’s that potential I was talking about, as that percentage is only going to increase for the foreseeable future. And these dads are shopping. In fact, 80% of them claim that they’re the primary or shared shoppers when it comes to groceries. That’s 9 million shoppers and an increase of 35% when compared to all dads!

So how do we take advantage of this? Well, we turn to what we know. Compared to women, having a child generally doesn’t change men’s shopping habits, even with Millennial dads, which gives us a solid launch point.

We know that men are more results-focused. The man-on-a-mission mindset still rules — even in the grocery store, where most men will shop the perimeter rather than browse up and down the aisles. Point-of-sale displays must play to this as well, offering an immediate response. Direct-result messaging wins with men every time, so marketers have to make sure we not only get their attention, but also keep them engaged long enough to see that it will fulfill a need.

Millennials have flipped the script once again. Moving forward, we must combine known male shopping habits with new data as it’s accumulated. It’s a wide-open market, and those of us who can apply what we’ve learned working for moms and make it relevant for dads will have an incredible advantage as more and more Millennials age into parenthood.


Sources for the stats in this post: