Millennials and the Grocery Store

How do Millennials decide what to have for dinner these days? New trends show it’s necessarily by going to grocery store.

As Millennials turn to more e-commerce options and Baby Boomers become empty nesters, new data shows a huge shift in traditional grocery shopping habits.

An article published by the Wall Street Journal says that Baby Boomers, who used to bring big grocery lists to the stores, are buying less from supermarkets to find better deals elsewhere. And Millennials aren’t stepping up to replace them in the market.

Data shows Millennials are purchasing from vendors like AmazonFresh, “beefed up convenience stores” and big corporate stores like Wal-Mart.

“I don’t think we’ve seen shopping change so dramatically ever,” said Marty Siewert, senior vice president for consumer and shopper analytics at Nielsen. “Those things in the past that have been real drivers for grocery in terms of freshness and quality aren’t the key drivers for millennials.”

Some of the other factors in the shift in Millenial grocery spending include the fact that Millennials are starting families later, have more student debt and have weaker job prospects than the generations before them.

However, despite the slump in profits for food retailers, since 1985 the number of restaurants and grocery stores went from half a million to 1.4 million in the United States just last year. The difference is the types of retailers who have opened their doors.

“Dollar and convenience stores accounted for 81% of the 6,588 food retailers that opened between 2013 and 2015, Nielsen TDLinx figures show” said the article.

Now we are seeing bigger grocery stores “merge, close stores, or cancel expansions” in favor of exploring e-commerce options to reach Millennials. Grocers are developing smart-phone apps in hopes to keep people away from Amazon and FreshDirect.

As these buying trends continue, it looks like Millennials are changing how we answer the age-old question, “What’s for dinner?”


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