Thursday, December 29, 2011

Walking down the aisle

Among the holiday traditions I witnessed when I was home for Christmas: my dad making multiple trips to the grocery store, trying to decipher long lists of ingredients my mom needed for dinner.

I have lots of memories involving my dad and grocery shopping.

My favorite is a Sunday routine I had during childhood. My dad and I would wake up early and attend 7:30 a.m. Mass together, then hit the supermarket and buy a week's worth of dinner materials.

My dad's involvement in weekly shopping hardly seemed progressive at the time, but this article made me rethink that.

The headline: "More men taking the reins of the cart." Here's an excerpt:

Experts say the trend has been building slowly for decades. But the recession hit men disproportionately with layoffs and left many of them home to manage the household.

The nation's biggest food and personal-products manufacturers are taking notice, attempting to market products and adjust store layouts to cater to men.

It's a paradigm shift for the $560 billion retail food industry that has patently referred to the primary customer as "she," focusing marketing and advertising firepower on women, and mothers in particular — sometimes making fun of dads in the process.

Interesting, right? In your relationship, is grocery shopping a distinctly "male" or "female" task -- or do you share the shopping duties?