Millennials in the Supermarket

I’m not sure why, but I always am drawn to information about Generation Y. Maybe it’s because I feel that just about every description of Gen Y’ers (aka. Millennials) describes me to a “T”:

  • Tech savvy:  check (…or at least I try)
  • Family-centric , wanting flexibility and work-life balance: check
  • Achievement-oriented and seeks meaningful work:  check (maybe a bit too much)
  • Team-oriented and seeks input from others: check
  • Attention-craving in the form of feedback and guidance: check

When I came across a study this past week by Jeffries Alix Partners called Trouble in Aisle 5 that describes Millennials and their food choices, I was intrigued. It offers some great insight into the group that by the year 2020 will make up roughly 19% of the U.S. population. As food producers, it is important that we understand our consumers of today and tomorrow.

A few key takeaways from the report:

  • Millennials want to buy what they want, when they want and wherever they want. They are less loyal to specific brands and retailers.
  • Millennials are more likely to pay more for specific attributes in food (local, organic, ethnic and specialty foods) than older generations.
  • Millennials want more fresh, more choices, more flavors and more variety.
  • Millennials place high value on convenience in shopping for food.
  • Traditional supermarkets are losing the high-income Millennial as they shop specialty stores for fresh products and mass merchants for everyday essentials.

This report describes some great opportunities for the agricultural industry. In particular, farmers that sell their products direct to the consumer through a farmers market, on-site retail store or other avenues will be very appealing to Millennials. With that said, our industry is challenged to seek ways to offer a wide variety of products, keeping convenience, freshness and quality in mind.

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2 Responses to Millennials in the Supermarket

  1. Scott Owens says:

    You’ve nailed a pretty important market observation to the barn door (similar to Martin Luther nailing his 90+ points to the Cathedral door). Who in your readership might be thinking of starting a farm market called GEN Y to cater to these specific needs and a way to increase profits? Wish I was a Young Farmer right now!

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