Supermarket survey shows the sexes shop quite differently

By , Special to The Christian Science Monitor

How long does it take you to do your supermarket food shopping - not counting the time in the check-out line? If you are like those recently interviewed in four big-city supermarkets, you take an average of 20.6 minutes - and pay an average of $26.80 at the checkout stand. That's the highlight of a survey conducted in Baltimore, Houston, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles for a trade association, the Food Marketing Institute. The report pinpointed a number of other up-to-date factors in consumer food buying.

Men, for example, were found during the questioning to make up about a 40 percent segment of the shoppers. Compared to women, they spent on average less time in the food-selection exercise, didn't part with as much money, went for known-brand merchandise, and preferred not to mess with preorganized shopping lists or discount coupons. From the answers given, it appeared that men as a rule did not peruse food ads beforehand in order to take advantage of advertised specials.

The study indicated that, of those interviewed, the over-65 group found the most pleasure in food shopping and regarded it as an important experience. Of all groups, the seniors also garnered more savings through the use of coupons.

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