Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

With Mother’s Day approaching, many Australians are planning how to spoil their Mum this year. While classics like breakfast in bed or a bunch of flowers never go out of style, here’s a novel idea: why not give her a break from the grocery shopping? The latest findings from Roy Morgan Research show that a far greater proportion of Australian women than men usually buy their household’s groceries — and mothers are the most likely of all to do so.

Before looking at specific living arrangements, however, here’s a top-line figure for the sake of perspective: 62% of Australians 14+ who usually do the grocery shopping are women and 38% are men. Already, the gender imbalance is quite striking. 

But it becomes a whole lot more apparent among households with kids in them. No less than 91% of Australian women who live with their partner and at least one child usually buy the groceries; a figure that drops to just 44% of men living in the same household arrangement.

Even in single parent households, single mums (97%) are more likely than single dads (85%) to buy the groceries. (Which begs the question: if 85% of single fathers usually buy the groceries, who is buying groceries for the remaining 15%?)

Usual grocery-buyers by living arrangement: women vs men


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January – December 2014 (n=15,944)Base: Australians 14+

Among couples with no children in their household, the proportion of women who usually buy the groceries (90%) is also much higher than men (53%), although the difference is not as great as in nuclear families.

In fact, the only household situation in which men and women are equally as likely to usually do the grocery shopping is when they live alone (99% each).

Angela Smith, Group Account Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Despite men accounting for half the population, they still don’t account for half of ‘usual’ grocery-buyers. However, the proportion of men who say they usually buy the groceries has grown slightly since 2010, when the overall male:female ratio was 35:65.


“Among different kinds of household living arrangements, women are almost always more likely than men to be the ‘usual’ grocery-buyer, a gender skew that is strongest in traditional nuclear family units.


“Of course, just because someone usually does the grocery-shopping, doesn’t necessarily mean they do it alone. Among Aussies who live with their partner and kids, 19% of women and 32% of men share grocery duties; while 27% of women and 43% of men who live with their partner in childless households do the same. The fact remains, though, that women – and mothers especially -- shoulder most of the grocery-buying responsibility.


“Gender equality may have come a long way over the last 50 years, but it clearly has a way to go. The stereotype of mothers being responsible for running the family household appears to be alive and well, at least where grocery-shopping is concerned. This Mother’s Day, why not make a truly thoughtful gesture, and give Mum a break from the grocery grind for a week or two? Who knows: it might even lead to a whole new domestic routine…”

View this release in full on our website.

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Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is Australia's best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Samantha Wilson
P: (03) 9224 5268


Mother's Day, shopping, grocery shopping, families




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