The increasing presence of women in the workplace is redefining the roles of men and women in household management. Role sharing among husbands and wives is one approach used to relieve some of the overload experienced by women in fulfilling their work and family roles (Hall 1972; Holmstrom 1972; Rapoport and Rapoport 1976). Husbands seem increasingly willing to take on food shopping (Maret and Finlay 1984). Industry (Donegan 1986; Progressive Grocer 1987) and academic (Blaylock and Smallwood 1987; Brayfield 1992; Charles and Kerr 1988; Maret and Finlay 1984; McCall 1984; Shelton 1992) data indicate that 25 to 45 percent of husbands share the family food shopping role with their wives.
Academic research on food shopping behavior includes the time between trips, day of the week preferred, segments of quick and regular trips (Kahn and Schmittlein 1989); effects of situational variables on in-store shopping (Park, Iyer, and Smith 1989); time and money costs in the supermarket (Blaylock and Smallwood 1987; Holman and Wilson 1982; Walker and Cude 1983); effect of several demographic variables on some supermarket shopping variables (Zeithaml 1985); and degree and nature of role sharing of this household task (e.g., Bird, Bird, and Scruggs 1984). The food industry has also monitored men's involvement in how the food dollar is spent (Dietrich 1981; Donegan 1986; Fitch 1985). However, very little research exists on family food shopping per se and virtually all that does exist is from the perspective of wives.
Understanding how the role of husbands in family food shopping differs from that of wives is important to consumer and family educators and food policymakers, as well as food industry members interested in creating consumer satisfaction and keeping up with social trends. Family food shopping, which comprises a necessary and substantial portion of family expenditures, has become increasingly complex due to pressures stemming from a rapidly changing competitive environment in the food industry and changes in the consumer roles of husbands and wives.
Husbands who share this task generally have not been socialized to do so (Maret and Finlay 1988; Shelton 1992). Husbands may make very different judgments when food shopping. There is not much known about husbands' willingness to compare prices and value, plan their time and energy for this task, and handle a food budget. Little is known about how husbands and wives who share the family food shopping task differ in their management. Similar approaches may be the result of uniformity in the spouses' value systems or due to one spouse, in most cases the wife, determining how food shopping is managed. Different approaches may suggest role specialization, as in various other areas of family decisionmaking (Davis and Rigaux 1974), depending on where the differences exist. On a methodological note, conspicuous by its absence is a conceptual model within which to examine the family food shopping process. Research is needed to provide a starting point for the development of such a model and to explore consumer issues associated with husbands sharing this household task.
Deacon and Firebaugh's (1988) model of family resource management and other systems approaches (notably Herrmann and Warland 1990; Rosen and Granbois 1983) suggest that household management involves decision tasks which, in turn, involve planning and implementing to put decisions into effect. The process of accomplishing the family food shopping task, therefore, can be viewed as moving from at-home strategies used to organize for the shopping trip to the actual in-store shopping experience. Figure 1 depicts the conceptual framework used in this study. It shows that At-Home Organizational Strategies (in terms of Time and Task Management Strategies), which when combined with the Store Orientation of the food shopper (in terms of Store Loyalty and Important Store Characteristics), lead to the use of specific In-Store Strategies. The purpose of this study is to compare matched pairs of husbands and wives on the At-Home Strategies used, Store Orientation, and In-Store Strategies used in performing the family food shopping role.
SELECTED LITERATURE REVIEW
At-Home Organizational Strategies
Allan (1985), Douglas (1976), McCall (1977), Rapoport and Rapoport (1976), and Zeithaml (1985) have provided piecemeal accounts of how wives with various labor force attachments manage various household tasks. In a study of demographics associated with grocery shopping, Zeithaml (1985) examined a limited set of time and task management strategies used by wives and husbands. However, it was Strober and Weinberg (1980) who introduced the general notion of the use of strategies to consumer research. Time management is conceptualized in this research as the explicit use of strategies which reflect the principles behind how time is allocated to getting the family food shopping done. Task management focuses on concrete actions which indicate how a variety of resources are controlled (e.g., costs, energy, time, and memory capacity).
Time management strategies
Time management strategies which have been identified are setting role priorities (Hall 1972; Holmstrom 1972), using scheduling and planning techniques (Bartos 1978; Hall 1972; Joyce and Guiltinan 1978), lowering standards (Allan 1985; Hall 1972), and increasing efficiency (Nickols and Fox 1983). A few studies have been done on the use of such strategies by wives (e.g., Harris and Stevensen 1983; Holman and Wilson 1982), but comparisons between husbands and wives to get the family food shopping done are not evident.
Task management strategies
Blaylock and Smallwood (1987) suggested that food shoppers prepare lists, use ads and coupons, budget, compare unit prices, and shop for specials as cost-saving techniques. Zeithaml (1985), however, found that husbands, compared to wives, did less "planning," defined as use of lists, a budget, and newspaper ads. The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) had similar findings in 1983 (c.f., Blaylock and Smallwood 1987). In another industry study, Dietrich (1981) reported that males were less likely to make lists and use newspaper ads than females.
Store orientation is viewed from the perspective of a food shopper's propensity to switch stores or shop around for specials and the store's characteristics of importance.
Previous research on store loyalty found working women to be more loyal than nonworking women (Harris and Stevensen 1983; McCall 1984) and women to be less store loyal than men (c.f., Fitch 1985). Blaylock and Smallwood (1987) reported females shop for specials more than males, suggesting that females may be more likely to shop at different stores.
Store characteristics of importance
Donegan (1986) reported that up to two-thirds of male shoppers considered low prices, good produce and meat, convenient location, one-stop shopping, and a good selection of national, store, and generic brands to be important. She also reported that men thought that to shop economically it was important to stay conscious of exact prices, buy store and generic brands, and to travel to different retail outlets to purchase only items on special. Other industry studies found important store characteristics for men and women were a good produce department (c.f., Fitch 1985), low prices, one-stop shopping, a nearby location, prices on packages, the presence of special departments (bakery and deli), a variety of store brands, the ability to finish shopping as soon as possible (Dietrich 1981), and a good selection of nationally advertised brands (Donegan 1986). However, it has also been found that male, compared to female, shoppers considered late hours (Dietrich 1981), location, quick checkout, and parking important and double value coupons, other price incentives (Dietrich 1981), and value-added services (e.g., bakeries and delis) as less important (c.f., Fitch 1985).
Zeithaml (1985) found that husbands compared to wives did less "economizing," defined as use of coupons and price checking. The 1983 FMI study (c.f., Blaylock and Smallwood 1987) and Dietrich (1981) reported that females compared unit prices and used coupons more than male shoppers.
In summary, the literature reveals a dearth of knowledge on how matched pairs of wives and husbands manage family food shopping. The little that is known suggests that husbands and wives may differ in at-home strategies used, store orientation, and in-store strategies used.
As shown in Figure 1, the five constructs measured pertain to the At-Home Organizational Strategies used (Time Management Strategies and Task Management Strategies), Store Orientation (Store Loyalty and Important Store Characteristics), and In-Store Strategies used. Most measures of the first two constructs were adapted from Allan (1985), Bartos (1978), Hall (1972), Nickols and Fox (1983), Strober and Weinberg (1980), and Zeithaml (1985). Most measures of the latter three constructs were adapted from Donegan (1986), Joyce and Guiltinan (1978), and Progressive Grocer (1987). Unless indicated otherwise, the frequency of using a particular strategy ranged from (1) never to (5) four out of the last four shopping trips.
Time management strategies
Eleven items were used to measure time management strategies. These items were derived from issues about priorities, scheduling, standards, and time-buying and time-saving strategies. For example, one statement was, "I planned for the time to do this shopping."
Task management strategies
The five task management questions covered very specific actions with regard to how the respondent prepared for a food shopping trip. Statements, such as "I made a shopping list," were used to measure the frequency with which lists, newspaper ads, price comparisons, and budgeting were used.
The extent to which the respondents switched stores or shopped around for specials was measured by five items. Four items asked about actual behavior over the last four food shopping trips. One item was an attitudinal statement: "I hate to change food stores." This statement was measured on a five-point Likert scale from 1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree.
Nineteen different store characteristics, from "attractive decor" to "has a good deli department," were used as measures of store attributes of importance. Each store characteristic was rated on a seven-point Likert scale from 1 = very unimportant to 7 = very important.
Five items were used to measure the frequency with which the respondents used unit pricing, coupons, and shopping lists and the way they travelled the store aisles (e.g., "I used the same route in the food store each trip").
The data were collected from husbands and wives with identical self-completion questionnaires distributed with a convenience sampling procedure which focused on contacting married women living in two metropolitan centers, Toronto and Halifax, in 1987. The sampling goal was to include couples with a broad range of age, employment, and income categories.
Various women's groups, such as Professional Secretaries International, Ladies' Club, Women Executives, and University Women's Club, were asked if their members would participate in a study of family food shopping. Most organizations did not want to publicly provide their membership lists; each organization was left a bundle of questionnaires to distribute to voluntary participants who were to ask their husbands to participate. The completed questionnaires were mailed back to the researchers. Hence, the sample suffers from a self-selection bias. However, the purpose of this study is to compare wives and husbands; therefore, it is the comparisons between the matched pairs that are important.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Of the 152 sets of questionnaires returned, 86 provided matched pairs of husbands and wives. Thirty-eight families were headed by a single female, and 28 questionnaires were received from the wife only. To investigate the family food shopping behavior of role sharing couples, the husbands had to do the family food shopping at least five percent of the time over the past year. The sample was therefore reduced to 50 husband-wife pairs as 36 of the 86 husbands (or 42 percent) reported that they did none of the family food shopping and, therefore, did not respond to the food shopping questions.
The demographic characteristics of shopping and nonshopping husbands did not differ. However, analysis of the wives of husbands who shop and who do not shop showed that when wives were employed full time outside the home, husbands were more likely to participate in the major food shopping trip ([X.sup.2] = 7.27; d.f. = 2; p [is less than] .01). No other demographic characteristic including age, education, employment of either spouse outside the home, occupation, income, or presence of children was related to the husbands' participation. This finding is in contrast to Blaylock and Smallwood (1987) who found that younger and better educated couples were more likely to share grocery shopping than older, less educated couples.
Family Food Shopping Behavior
Analyses were carried out in three stages for each group of variables in the research model. First, internal reliability was checked. Cronbach alphas ranged from .49 to .82 and are reported on the tables of results for each construct. Next, each set of items for the husbands and wives was used in a principal components analysis using a Varimax rotation and listwise deletion of missing variables.(1) This step in the analysis allowed a comparison of the correlation of the items between husbands and wives. Finally, the individual items measuring each construct were used in a doubly repeated multivariate analysis of variance to do matched comparisons on the husbands (H) and wives (W).
At-Home Organizational Strategies
Time management strategies
Principal components analysis of the time management items resulted in four (W) and three (H) factors accounting for 74 (W) and 64 (H) percent of the variances. The factor structure across spouses is very similar. Interestingly, the themes on the wives' first two factors (routine scheduling and priority planning) are interwoven on the husbands' first two factors.
TABLE 1 Demographic Profile of Sample Husbands Who Wives of Husbands Who Don't Shop Shop Don't Shop Shop Characteristic n = 36(a) n = 50(a) n = 36(a) n = 50(a) (number) Age (years) Under 30 2 8 5 9 31-40 14 17 11 14 41-65 19 17 21 20 Over 65 3 6 2 3 [X.sup.2] 3.89 1.16 Education High school 11 18 9 11 Community college 4 7 12 13 University degree 23 23 18 22 [X.sup.2] 1.36 0.06 Occupation Clerical 4 11 8 7 Managerial 8 7 2 9 Professional 20 17 12 15 [X.sup.2] 3.45 3.42 Extent of employment Full time 32 37 12 26 Part Time 2 1 12 5 [X.sup.2] 0.47 7.27(*) Personal income ($) Under 28,000 3 6 10 14 28,0001 to 37,000 5 5 2 11 37,001 to 46,000 7 7 4 5 Over 46,000 16 14 2 1 [X.sup.2] 1.12 4.19 Presence of children Yes 32 31 No 7 15 [X.sup.2] 2.36 a Columns do not always add to these numbers due to response inconsistency. * p [is less than] .01.
The multivariate test revealed no significant difference ([F.sub.(11,14)] = 0.92) in the use of the time management strategies by the husband and wife pairs. Generally, the spouses were similar in the routine of when they did the shopping and in how much time they took; the priority, attention, and energy it was given; and the extent of planning.
There were some contrasts between the husbands and wives in the consistency (i.e., same day, hour, time, etc.) with which various general time management strategies were used. Analysis of the frequency distributions of specific descriptors showed that 30 percent of the wives shopped on Thursday and 30 percent of the husbands shopped on Friday. The shopping times for the wives were spread over the day, while the husbands most frequently shopped at 10 a.m. (23 percent) or 7 p.m. (18 percent). Paired t-tests showed a significant difference in the amount of time the spouses spent in the food store ([t.sub.(38)] = 2.50; p [is less than] .05); the wives spent one hour per trip, on average, while their husbands spent 51 minutes. There was no significant difference in the spouses' travelling time to and from the store (about 30 minutes). It may be, as Strober and Weinberg (1980) argued, that the wives have passed on particular standards for efficient use of time, for example, shop on the same day each week. However, variations in the actual hour, time spent in the store, and day of the week chosen for shopping suggest there may be some important differences between spouses in implementation of general time management principles.
Task management strategies
Two (W) and three (H) factors resulted from analysis of the task management items. The first factor linked budgeting and shopping lists for wives, whereas the husbands viewed lists (factor 1) separate and distinct from budgeting (factor 3). The second factors, pertaining to comparison shopping activities, explained 21 (W) and 26 (H) percent of the variances and were the same for both wives and husbands. The distinctiveness of budgeting and list making may exist for husbands because they do not budget for food shopping.
The multivariate test revealed a significant difference ([F.sub.(5,31)] = TABULAR DATA OMITTED TABULAR DATA OMITTED 4.55; p [is less than] .01) in the use of the task management strategies by the spouses. The subsequent univariate paired tests showed that husbands and wives used lists when shopping just as frequently, contrary to the findings of Zeithaml (1985) and the 1983 FMI study (c.f., Blaylock and Smallwood 1987). However, supporting Dietrich (1981), the wives were more likely than their husbands to have made a list and to read newspaper ads. Zeithaml (1985) also found that wives used newspaper ads more than husbands. In this study, wives were also found to compare prices among food stores more frequently than their husbands, probably reflecting wives' more frequent use of newspaper ads than their husbands. As in Zeithaml (1985) and the 1983 FMI study (c.f., Blaylock and Smallwood 1987), wives were also found to be more apt than their husbands to use a budget.
Two factors, accounting for 62 (W) and 65 (H) percent of the variances, resulted from the analysis of the store loyalty items. The first factor, pertaining to store commitment, explained 38 (W) and 42 (H) percent of the variances, and the second factor, pertaining to openness to store switching, explained 24 (W) and 23 (H) percent of the variances. The difference between husbands and wives was mainly in their willingness to chase a bargain; husbands seem to be more routine shoppers and less likely to make a special trip to another store.
The multivariate test revealed no significant differences ([F.sub.(5,30)] = 1.84) in the responses of the husband and wife pairs to the store loyalty items. Contrary to Blaylock and Smallwood's (1987) report, wives were not found to shop around for specials more frequently than their husbands nor to be less store loyal as found by Stevensen (c.f., Fitch 1985). It may be, as suggested by Harris and Stevensen (1983) and McCall (1984) in their studies of working versus nonworking women, the important determinant of store loyalty is having the time to shop around. If the time is not available, then convenience of location and one-stop shopping are likely to become more important than shopping around for specials.
TABLE 4 Store Loyalty: Factor Loadings and Means (Standard Deviations) Factors Loadings Means (S.D.)(c) Wives(a) Husbands(b) Wives Husbands Store Loyalty Items F1 F2 F1 F2 I shopped at the same .85 -- .67 -- 4.1 3.7 food store each trip when I did this shopping I shopped at only one .79 -- .88 -- 3.7 3.3 food store when I did this (1.4) (1.6) shopping I did this shopping at a .61 .64 -- .80 4.5 4.0 store which was (1.0) (1.3) conveniently located I made a special trip to -- .73 -.73 -- 2.3 2.0 another store for bargains (1.3) (1.3) or specials I hate to change food -- -.44 -- .84 3.1 3.0 stores (0.9) (0.9) Variance Explained (%) 38 24 42 23 Eigenvalues 1.9 1.2 2.1 1.2 a Cronbach alpha = .54. b Cronbach alpha = .65. c Multivariate paired analysis: [F.sub.(5,30)] = 1.84.
Important store characteristics
Analysis of the store characteristics resulted in six (W) and seven (H) factors accounting for 74 (W) and 76 (H) percent of the variances. This factor structure varied the most between the spouses, for example, the wives' fourth factor is based on the theme of convenient one-stop shopping, while husbands show the convenience theme related to "easy to drive to" and the one-stop shopping theme as an additional dimension.
The multivariate test revealed significant differences ([F.sub.(19,9)] = 14.23; p [is less than] .001) in the importance of the store characteristics to the spouses. The paired univariate tests identified eight store characteristics as being more important to wives than husbands: (1) frequent sales/specials, (2) helpful personnel in service departments, (3) not running short of items on special, (4) accurate, pleasant checkout clerks, (5) easy to drive to, (6) shelves kept well-stocked, (7) convenient location (contrary to Dietrich (1981)), and (8) attractive decor.(2) Having specials available would likely be more important to wives because they more frequently made the shopping list, read newspaper ads, compared prices among stores, and looked after the food budget (task management strategies). All other store characteristics were considered to be equally important by the wives and husbands, including being open late and having double-value coupons which Dietrich (1981) found to be more important to males than females. Supporting Dietrich (1981), it was also found that both husbands and wives thought that one-stop shopping and having specialized departments (such as delis) were equally important.
In-Store Shopping Strategies
Principal components analysis of the in-store shopping strategies resulted in two factors accounting for 60 (W) and 57 (H) percent of the variances. Themes of the two factors were transposed for wives and their husbands. The wives' first factor (husbands' second factor) indicates the use of a routine store route, while the wives' second factor (husbands' first factor) suggests planned purchasing.
The multivariate test revealed no significant differences ([F.sub.(5,26)] = .31) in the in-store strategies used by the husband and wife pairs, contrary to Zeithaml (1985), Dietrich (1981), and the 1983 FMI study (c.f., Blaylock and Smallwood 1987). Lack of differences may be explained by the spouses' use of specific task management strategies. If wives were more likely than their husbands to have made the shopping list and to have compared prices and both spouses are equally likely to use the list, the necessity to use unit pricing differentially while in the store is reduced drastically.
SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS
This study examined the strategies used by matched pairs of wives and husbands in getting family food shopping done. Role theory supported the role sharing context for the research and a systems approach provided a framework for the strategies which might be used TABULAR DATA OMITTED by the spouses. These theoretical bases are recommended as appropriate approaches for future research.
Overall, the principal components analyses showed that the husband and wife pairs were similar in the conceptual structure of Time and Task Management Strategies, Store Loyalty, and In-Store Strategies. Perhaps these similarities stem from the wives "teaching" or guiding the husbands' food shopping behavior as suggested by Blaylock and Smallwood (1987) and Charles and Kerr (1988), because traditionally food shopping has been the domain of wives. There were some variations in the patterns which may be important guides for subsequent research. Husbands, for example, see routine scheduling and priority planning as related, whereas the wives seem to view these aspects of time management as distinct dimensions. On the other hand, husbands seem to perceive budgeting as a distinct aspect TABULAR DATA OMITTED of task management, while the wives do not. Such differences suggest that wives and husbands have a specialized approach to the family food shopping role. The greatest conceptual difference between the spouses was in the store characteristics of importance which suggests that husbands and wives may compartmentalize certain aspects of food shopping (e.g., convenience and one-stop shopping) quite differently. Rather than role specialization, these differences suggest a difference in values between the spouses or possibly different personal preferences for shopping environments.
The findings on store loyalty suggest that the nature and frequency of loyalty behavior toward food retailers is similar for spouses, although wives are more likely to be lured to other stores for bargains than their husbands. Thus, matching competitors on weekly specials would appear to be an appropriate activity for an individual food retailer. As well, to create satisfaction for both spouses, differences in their respective store characteristics of importance need to be considered, as well as their similarity in use of in-store strategies, such as unit pricing and coupons.
TABLE 6 In-Store Strategies: Factor Loadings and Means (Standard Deviations) Factor Loadings Means (S.D.)(c) Wives(a) Husbands(b) Wives Husbands Store Loyalty Items F1 F2 F1 F2 I did not backtrack while I .83 -- -- .63 3.3 2.8 was doing the food s hopping (1.5) (1.6) for regular family meals, that is, I went through the store without having to go back to an aisle which I had already passed I used the same route in .81 -- -- .86 4.0 3.8 the food store each trip (1.5) (1.5) when I did this shopping I use unit pricing for all -- .88 .75 -- 2.7 2.7 the groceries I buy (0.9) (0.9) I bought only the food -- .65 .62 .42 2.6 2.7 items which we re on my (1.4) (1.6) list when I did the shopping for regular family meals I used coupons when I did .48 .52 .73 -- 3.0 1.7 the food shopping for (1.5) (1.6) regular family meals Variance Explained (%) 37 23 33 24 Eigenvalues 1.9 1.2 1.7 1.2 a Cronbach alpha = .56. b Cronbach alpha = .49. c Multivariate paired analysis: [F.sub.(5,226)] = 0.31.
Multivariate paired analyses showed that the conceptual differences were highlighted further by the wives using four of the five task management strategies more frequently than husbands and attaching greater importance than husbands to eight of 19 store characteristics. Specific descriptors of time management strategies (e.g., actual shopping hour and day) also suggest husbands may be quite different than wives as family food shoppers. Research needs to expand the number of specific variables considered, such as the importance of early store hours and the influence of in-store promotions and the store environment.
Future research is also needed to determine whether there is an important link between wives more frequently making lists, comparing prices, budgeting, and using newspaper ads than their husbands and the greater importance wives attach to stores having specials available. Wives seem to act as "gatekeepers" or "controllers" in managing at-home tasks related to economical and astute food buying practices. Less equitable participation between the spouses in the task management aspects of the food shopping process may be limiting the extent husbands sharing this important family role truly relieve the role overload of their wives. Further to this point, 42 percent of the husbands reported no participation in family food shopping. Whether educators feel assured or dissatisfied with these findings, task management strategies may be a critical target in education and socialization programs aimed at children and adults of both genders.
The sample was biased upwards in the educational, occupational, and income levels of the spouses. While this bias provided a Control on the amount of variation due to these variables, it may have masked variations in managing the family food shopping role which exist in the general population of husband and wife pairs. It is possible, for example, that overall efficiency and effectiveness, general resourcefulness, insights, ability to learn from experience, and other predispositions which could affect food shopping could be associated with these characteristics. This sample may also have shown family food shopping behavior at its maximum efficiency and effectiveness; those who responded may have had a great interest in whether the food shopping was done, in who did it, and in how it was carried out. Further, the minor role of demographics in distinguishing the spouses suggests that attitudinal profiles may need to be included in the model.
Despite limitations of the study and inability to generalize the results to a larger population, it does provide avenues for broadening our understanding of how husbands and wives are similar and different in food shopping practices. Viewing the family food shopping trip as a process within which spouses carry out their roles appears to be a promising approach. However, there are three broader issues which might also be considered. First, as the variables of interest were guided by previous research on the approach of wives to food shopping, the questions asked in this research may be limited in tapping the unique approaches of husbands or single males for that matter. Further to this point, research needs to be done on the role of children in family food shopping. Second, strategies related to the use of nutrition-related information, impulse buying, and ability to assess the quality and nutritional efficacy of various foods need to be included to address more fully food policy issues. Finally, the conceptual model could be extended to include strategies used to handle groceries after they are taken home (e.g., storage, tracking, and stockpiling).
1 The amount of missing data varied over the different constructs.
2 The MANOVA deleted all cases with at least one missing value on the 38 variables. Therefore, as a check on the stability of the results, paired t-tests were run. The paired-sample size did not go below 40 on any one store characteristic and the results were identical.
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Rosemary Polegato is Associate Professor, Department of Commerce, Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick; and Judith L. Zaichkowsky is Associate Professor, Faculty of Business Administration, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia.…