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According to research from CultureQ, branding consultancy Onesixtyfourth’s research initiative designed to monitor the sentiment and cultural shifts among millennials in the U.S. and the U.K., specialty retailer Trader Joe’s maintains surprising brand strength among urban millennials, on a par with big-name brands like Apple, Ford, Nike and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
“Looking at the Q2 data of our CultureQ research, it’s interesting that Trader Joe’s has cultivated an eclectic, cult-like following among millennials, particularly those that we have identified as trend setters and early adopters,” said Anne Bahr Thompson, founding partner of New York-based Onesixtyfourth. “It seems they love everything about Trader Joe’s – or TJ’s, as many call it – from its products to its employees to its kitschy store design. The result is an intimate connection with the brand.”
CultureQ’s qualitative data reveals that members of the millennial generation are drawn to the humor and casualness of the brand – Hawaiian staff shirts, quirky product names, and the employees’ easy-going yet efficient attitude. They also enjoy the brand’s natural and organic offerings. Trader Joe’s formula is one that trend setters and early adopters can easily relate to.
“Despite its 45-year history, Trader Joe’s appears to have a unique and admirable appeal with many millennials, and our early adopter participants who offered insights on the grocer largely perceive the chain as catering to their own generation,” added Thompson.
The first Trader Joe’s opened in 1967, and the brand has since expanded into a small grocery store empire of over 350 stores in some 31 states.