Men, Food, and Sex in the Grocery Store: Part Two

Men, Food, and Sex in the Grocery Store: Part Two

January 22, 2014

John LaPuma, MD
RDBA Advisory Board Member

In the first article of this two-part series, I covered three critical strategies, based on my research for the new book REFUEL, which help you reach men so they can shop the store and get the fuel they need.  But what about the opportunity to interact one-on-one with male shoppers when you’re in charge of the man’s aisle and male sales? 

Most dietitians are women, and I’ve assumed that the male shopper-retail dietitian conversations are most likely happening between men and women. As usual, my advice is applicable for most guys—not the super-fit one guy. The one guy who whispers to a beautiful woman “let’s go lift,” and the woman is thrilled.  And so on.

For in-store interactions with male shoppers, here are three strategies that work:

1.    Approach Men Who Look Lost Directly. Most don’t ask for directions. You already know this.

2.    Use the Right, Gender-Specific Phrases, Not the Wrong Ones.  For example, if you say, “Are you sure you really want to take home that three pound bag of chips?” He hears, “You are not going to be doing anything I don’t approve of, and I am in charge.”

What to say to him instead: “Crunch is fun. It makes me feel like I’m eating something.  Have you ever had jicama?”

3.    Mention the Attributes Men Care About—protein, vitamins and minerals, fiber, sugar. Don’t mention the ones they don’t—low fat, “lite” anything, and classes of flavanols and flavanoids. On the fence: vegan, gluten-free.

If you’re really tete-a-tete, you could talk about the how much lycopene is in tomato paste versus a whole tomato (at least 10 times, gram for gram) or how to improve its bioavailability (with olive oil, for example). But by that time, most guys would have wandered off to the cereal aisle or beer emporium. With good reason. You are not speaking their language.

Men are a big opportunity for food, retailers and manufacturers. And as more grocery stores open clinics, it becomes easier for men and women to visit a health care provider. And that’s a very good thing. 

Men don’t want to be that guy who gets the news as a sucker punch to the gut: “If we’d only caught it sooner.”  They want to be the guy who gets strong, builds stamina, has strong drive, is capable, and provides for himself and his family, with their needs in mind. 

The guy who can get the shopping done, when necessary. 

The guy who can depend on grocery stores and major brands to help him do it.

That’s you

John La Puma, MD, is the New York Times best-selling author of REFUEL: A 24 Day Eating Plan to Boost Testosterone, Lose the Gut and Boost Strength and Stamina (Crown/Harmony, 2014) and RDBA Advisory Board Member. For more information: