Har har, have you heard about the new “man aisle” that a New York City grocery store has set up? If you haven’t, you can read about it here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here. In other words, the story is everywhere today, and the Westside Market couldn’t have asked for any better publicity than this.

In a nutshell, the set of shelves that the market has labeled “man isle” (because apparently men can’t spell) is filled with man-friendly products. “If you’re going to have some guys over to watch a game,” the store’s chief operating officer explained to the New York Post, “you can pretty much stand here” and get everything you need: beer, chips, barbecue sauce, soap, razors and condoms (exactly what kind of “game” are the guys coming over for, anyway?)


The C.O.O. said he recently read an survey by ESPN (of course) that said 31% of men consider themselves their household’s primary grocery shopper, nearly twice as many as three decades ago. A separate study by Yahoo and market research firm DB5 put the number at 51%. So the Westside Market decided to cater to those customers, by providing them with a selection of products that you would never want your primary grocery shopper feeding the family with.

“If this works, we’ll consider a host of things” he told London’s Daily Mail (because the story has even traveled that far already). Such as an aisle especially for college students. At least they’re not expected to feed a family with their purchases.

So to the 31-51% of women who no longer do the grocery shopping in their households, if you notice you’re having beer and nachos for dinner every night, your husband may have started shopping at the Westside Market. Because he probably hadn’t heard of the place before all the news about the “man aisle” piqued his curiosity. And one suspects that was the whole point.

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