The millennial generation doesn’t shop at supermarkets the way their parents and grandparents do, and are shopping elsewhere in greater numbers, according to a new market research report called “Trouble in Aisle 5.” The report found that the millennial generation buys only 41 percent of their food at traditional grocery stores, compared to the boomers' 50 percent.
For the study, global investment bank Jefferies teamed with AlixPartners, a business advisory firm, to survey 2,000 adult grocery shoppers around the U.S.
Instead of buying the same brands from the same store every week like their baby boomer parents or grandparents, millennials–born between 1982 and 2001–value convenience and freshness over brand or store loyalty, according to the report. Differences may arise from the millennial generation's inclination to multitask, even when they’re grocery shopping. These results mean that the new generation expects food to be very convenient, without compromising freshness or value.
Indeed, grocery delivery services, convenience stores, and online retailers are becoming increasingly important food sources for the latest generation of shoppers.
And this next generation of shoppers represents a growing force in the marketplace. Millennials will make up about 19 percent of Americans by 2020, while at the same time, the population of baby boomers in the United States sinks below 20 percent, the study notes.
"Millennials are channel surfers, jumping from one retail channel to another because that's what suits them," David Garfield, managing director at AlixPartners, told NPR. "Boomers are more consistent in where they shop and what they shop for. How many channels you communicate in, in your life, dictates how you act in the shopping world.”