Understanding Next-Gen Shopping Behaviors
How Insights Were Gathered
The key learnings contained in Progressive Grocer’s 2021 “The New Age of Elevated Expectations” study are based on 1,002 responses gathered July 20-26, 2021, from those ages 18 to 34, with primary or shared responsibility for food purchases. The responses were evenly split between Gen Z (ages 18-24) and Millennials (ages 25-34). The logic behind probing the views of these groups is that they are either entering or in their most formative years of household creation, a life stage which correlates closely with increased spending. Thus, understanding this group’s food-related shopping behaviors, eating preferences and key factors influencing spending is crucial to grocers’ future success.
Life used to be simpler for shoppers when it came to deciding where to buy groceries. If a store was clean and convenient, had helpful staff, and had good prices on quality products, that was a combination that satisfied most shoppers. It still does at a basic level, but the fundamental value proposition with which so many grocers found success has been joined by a wide range of other attributes that create new opportunities and challenges for grocers to connect with tomorrow’s shoppers.
This is due to expanded operational capabilities that retailers now execute against, and all of the complexities that entails, combined with new complexities related to fast-changing rules of what it means to be a good corporate citizen. As a result, shoppers have more reasons to like — or dislike — a particular retailer, and they have more choices of retailers that now appeal to shoppers with narrowly defined attribute sets.
Welcome to “The New Age of Elevated Expectations,” a phrase which describes an intensifying new reality for retailers of food and consumables, and the title of an exclusive shopper journey study from Progressive Grocer. This unique research project was developed and executed by the Research Solutions division of EnsembleIQ, PG’s parent company, with support from Inmar Intelligence.
While this new age of elevated expectations is complex, the premise of the research is simple: to bring greater clarity to the behaviors and expectations of more than 75 million younger, digitally native shoppers poised to have a huge impact on the grocery industry as they enter their prime spending and consumption years. Accordingly, key areas explored include:
- Key drivers of behavior, and shoppers’ expectations for seamless, safe and connected shopping experiences
- Frictionless preferences in stores and online
- Price and product ingredient transparency
- Product assortment and fulfillment expectations
- Communication preferences and social media usage
Here’s what we learned about what shoppers want now.