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The insatiable curiosity surrounding the millennial generation (current age 18-35) is certainly not a new topic – but the importance of this complex demographic is growing, especially for grocery retailers. An apparent trend has surfaced, leading fickle – but abundant -- millennial dollars away from traditional grocery stores and into the hands of farmer’s markets, online and specialty retailers. A combination of factors, including health, status, convenience, freshness and ethics, all play an important role in millennials’ purchase decisions.
Mintel reported that millennials buy only 41 percent of their food at traditional grocery stores, compared to boomers’ 50 percent. By 2016, millennials will have the highest discretionary income in the U.S., and by 2020, there will be 64.1 million millennials over the age of 25, an increase from just 17.1 million in 2010.
For leading produce companies, there is a clear opportunity to win over this key demographic by engaging them directly through one of their core motivators: maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and making it seem effortless.
“Having grown up in an instant gratification society, these shoppers want what they want, when they want it,” said Tristan Simpson, director of marketing and corporate communications at Ready Pac.
In turn, data suggests millennials have developed very little loyalty to retailers and brands which fail to recognize their desired attributes. Even though their spending power is limited overall, luxury items peak their interest, causing them to make up for their tendency to spend by cutting spending on items they perceive as less essential. Correctly identifying this cohort’s definition of “luxury” and “essential” is crucial in maintaining their loyalty. Within the food industry, it means providing healthy, ethical and value-added products in the most attainable way possible.
Additionally, Mintel’s “Fresh Fruit and Vegetables" 2012 report validates this brand-cohort connection, stating that millennials are the most likely group to purchase organic and value-added produce, wherein packaged salad mixes ranked number one in purchase frequency.
California-based Ready Pac is a producer of convenience fresh foods including fresh-cut produce. With processing facilities throughout the United States, Ready Pac’s salads, snacks, fresh-cut fruit and vegetables are distributed in supermarkets and restaurant chains across North America.