Trend Insight: Today's Dads

August 22, 2016
Consumer Trends
For the full report on dads and their impact on CPG trends, click here! 



Spending more time & money than ever before

More than previous generations, dads these days are taking a much larger role in the day-to-day care of their children. From scheduling play dates to grocery shopping, dads are spending more time — and money. “Dads are great for business,” said Kasi Bruno, strategic planning director at Young & Rubicam Group (Y&R.) “They’re really more involved than they ever have been with the kids and all the purchasing power that comes with it.”

“Dads represent a massive untapped market for all sorts of household products and consumer packaged goods — from diapers to college dorm supplies — and they are largely overlooked by most brands,” said Sandy Thompson, global planning director at Y&R.

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Dads & Nutrition

The nutrition of the food purchased for his family is important to dads. This was made crystal clear in a recent study released by Edelman Berland and Edelman’s food sector. The study found that:

  • More than 85% of dads said they limit the amount of processed foods their family eats.

  • More than 75% said it’s important to know where their food comes from, and more than 70% said they try to buy foods that are grown or raised locally.

  • Nearly 90% cook with fresh ingredients, and more than 95% said it’s important to teach their children to cook.

  • When asked to choose the most important factor in food purchase, both moms and dads ranked nutrition quality, taste and freshness as their top three.

  • Additionally, more than 50% of households surveyed said moms and dads share food purchasing and meal planning responsibilities — everything from making the list to budgeting. They both also said they enjoy food-related social activities together such as tending gardens, going on trips to farmers’ markets and watching cooking shows on TV.

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    Dads & Shopping

    “Men, specifically fathers 25 to 40, are spending more time as consumers around the household,” says Michael Rothman, co-founder of Millennial dad site Fatherly. “Moms are no longer the CEOs of the home.”

    In fact, a 2015 study performed by the Chicago Tribune revealed that an incredible 80% of Millennial dads said they were the primary grocery shopper or that they shared the shopping tasks. The study also showed that almost 50% of Millennial dads plan play dates and other activities for their kids. (Less than 25% of older dads did this.)

    One of the key findings of the Chicago Tribune study was that dads are willing to pay more for trusted brands (almost 50% claimed brand-name loyalties), and discounts don’t mean nearly as much as they do to moms.

    A third of dads say they try to buy products on sale, versus 52% of moms. Almost 60% of dads avoid coupons completely, saying it makes them look “cheap,” reports the Tribune. Less than half would be likely to brag to friends about finding a good price. Moms, on the other hand, take great pride in getting a deal.


    Dad Shopping Facts

  • 80% of Millennial dads say they’re the primary grocery shopper or that they share the shopping tasks

  • Dads spent an average of $250 more on back-to-school shopping than moms last year

  • Almost 60% of dads avoid coupons completely, with some saying it makes them look “cheap”

  • 80% of Millennial dads prefer to shop with their kids

  • 74% of Millennial dads say buying things for their kids is a way to bond 


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    Acknowledge Dad

    Millennial dads are playing a big role at home, and according to Baby Center research, many (88%) are striving to be “perfect dads.” They’re tuned in to food and beverage purchases and nutrition content of the items they purchase. Products and brands that acknowledge these contributions and speak to them as competent, engaged parents will definitely have dads’ attention.

    “Millennial dads are more involved in the day-to-day of childcare than any generation before them.” Julie Michaelson, head of global sales at Baby Center.



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    SOURCES: Mintel Reports,,,,,,