The Purchasing Power of Dads

More fathers are serving as primary caregivers and playing a larger role in purchasing toys for their kids. As a result, consumer product companies and retailers are starting to market toys with dads in mind.

“Kids are going to grow up with dads that give them baths and drive them to soccer and are cutting up oranges for team snacks,” said Liz Ross, in a recent New York Times article. Ross is president for North America of BPN, part of the IPG Mediabrands holding company, which conducted a study on male consumers. “What will go away, albeit slowly, is the image or the perception of the befuddled dad.”

Given that today’s dads are more involved in child-rearing and household duties than dads of the past, the image of the befuddled dad is outdated and even offensive.

According to the latest Census Bureau Data in 2010, one-fifth of fathers with preschool-age children and wives who work outside the home identified as the primary caretaker. 37.6 percent of working wives earned more than their husbands last year, a jump of 30.7% from a decade ago.

Women are still responsible for 83% of all purchases in the U.S., by some estimates, but clearly, gender roles are shifting and marketers are realizing they need to expand their target audience.