Sometime last year, Procter & Gamble Co. was throwing around some crazy ideas of creating a grocery aisle specifically for men, apparently a brand new breed of consumers walking around grocery stores.
The idea was to give the lonely male lost in a supermarket a fun shopping experience, putting everything a man’s man would need in one place. And New York City’s Westside Market has gone and done just that.
Called “The Man Aisle,” the space stocks stereotypically male items like beer, cereal, soda, beef jerky, hot sauces, barbecue sauces, condoms, and oh, Chock Full o’Nuts coffee.
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“People rarely cater to men in the supermarket,” COO Ian Joskowitz told us over the phone. “So I thought let’s do something fun, get people talking, something guys would like. So we started discussion, and it’s funny because most of us came up with a very similar list.”
This was, of course, spawned by a recent ESPN study showing that 31 percent of grocery shoppers are now men, in comparison to the 14 percent in 1985.
But of course, men can’t simply just subsist on potato chips and beer alone (nor can their families). “If he’s in the store, he’s doing the shopping, so we do a little something fun for him,” Joskowitz said. “The whole rest of the store is for the family.”
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So Westside is also handing out a “Men’s Supermarket Survival Guide” with tidbits like, “Not only doing the shopping but the cooking also? First pat yourself on the back from Westside Market NYC then choose either olive or canola oil.”
Now if only we had a woman’s aisle full of tissues, romantic comedies, tampons, and chocolate. And also, maybe a survival guide telling us to pat ourselves on the back for cooking dinner.