If there's one thing Millennials hate, it's being lumped in with the rest of the cohort. Take it from me, your resident Millennial blogger. I'm sure Jennette agrees, too. It seems the neverending chorus constantly harks upon our buying power, our purchasing preferences, and our search for something authentic and artisan/craft/locally-made.
Millennials do everything online. Every Millennial relies upon their smartphone for all purchasing decisions. Millennials place more trust in social media than their own parents. Millennials only do this. Millennials only do that. Millennials only purchase organic eggs on Mondays, Wednesdays and alternating Fridays.
(That last line may be a bit overstated, but not by much. According to Packaged Facts, younger consumers are more likely to seek them out than older demographics.)
For what it's worth, the demographic is seen as a transformative force in the food industry. According to Fortune senior writer Beth Kowitt, the demographic is responsible for an $18 billion loss in market share by the top 25 U.S. food and beverage companies over the past five years. Millennials are attributed as the driving force in the food industry's disruption, and that can cause headaches for many food marketers.
Part of the trick with marketing to Millennials is the anti-establishment focus on "authentic" experiences. This can make it difficult for larger, established food companies to market effectively to the demographic, as any campaign can be quickly discarded as out-of-touch or lacking credibility. A campaign featuring antibiotic-free meat from a larger foodservice chain like McDonald's or Wendy's won't get nearly as positive a reaction if the campaign came from a upstart restaurant chain focused on health, even if the campaigns are largely identical.
Another challenge for brick-and-mortar stores is this obsession with online ordering and technology. No doubt, I am an avid Amazon user when it comes to technology, entertainment and even some shelf-stable goods, with a Prime account to boot. I'd much rather order takeout through GrubHub or a similar delivery service than call the order in myself. But when it comes to groceries, I'm hesitant to use a delivery service. I know I'd rather check out my own food before purchasing it.
It turns out, I may not be alone. About 81% of Millennials prefer to purchase groceries in-store rather than online despite their tendency to use technology to conduct research before shopping, according to a new study produced by Coupons.com and Bovitz Inc. The report also classified members of the demographic as frugal and realistic with their finances, and nearly 37% noted they would go to a location other than their usual store to get better deals on groceries.
Perhaps before long, a new mantra will emerge.
Millennials aren't that different from generations before them when making choices about where to buy their groceries.
Chris is a business writer and market analyst that focuses on the Markets, Legal and Washington sections of the Food Institute Report. In addition, he assists in compiling data for various Food Institute publications throughout the year. He invites you to contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about anything food-related.
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