Consumer Retail Trends

January 24, 2019

We’re looking at consumer retail trends, segmented by generations. It’s one of the best ways to see what’s important now and what will be for future generations in both identifying and marketing to specialty food consumers.

What is Important to Them:

iGeneration (18-23): Nutritional and ingredient information; quality ingredients. Like to shop where they agree with the company values or philosophy.

Millennials (24-41)Talking about good food; nutritional and ingredient information; local/regional; retail staff knowledge.

Gen Xers (42-53)Nutritional and ingredient information; quality ingredients; talking about good food; local/regional; retail staff knowledge.

Baby Boomers (54-72)Local/regional; retail staff knowledge; nutritional and ingredient information; quality ingredients.


Why They Buy:

iGenerationTo support small companies; authentic ethnic flavors; for snacking.

MillennialsClean ingredients; superior quality; to treat themselves.

Gen XersInteresting tastes, flavors; superior taste; for treats and everyday meals.

Baby Boomers Interesting tastes, flavors; for everyday meals.


Buying Likelihood:

iGenerationMost likely to have bought specialty food but across fewer categories. Smallest share of dollars spent on specialty. They are testing the waters at this point.

MillennialsStrongest buyers by far in terms of category breadth. Spend the largest share of dollars on specialty foods. Once they’re in, they’re engaged.

Gen XersAverage purchase likelihood and category breadth. Average share of dollars spent on specialty food.

Baby BoomersBelow average purchase likelihood across fewer categories. Below average share of dollars spent on specialty. They’re the hardest to convert.


Food Trend Interest:

iGenerationFood free of common allergens, seasonal products, high protein, RTD functional beverages like kombucha, probiotics.

MillennialsHigh-protein snacks, seasonal products.

Gen XersSeasonal foods.

Baby BoomersSeasonal foods.


Product Claims:

iGenerationMost concerned about fair trade, care less about GMOs than previous generations.

MillennialsInterest in all natural, non-GMO, organic, and plant-based foods.

Gen XersCare about all natural and non-GMO.

Baby BoomersInterested in all natural, organic and plant-based foods.


What They Buy Compared to Other Generations:

iGenerationMost likely to purchase plant-based meat alternatives.

MillennialsBuy a lot of ice cream and frozen desserts; cookies, brownies, cakes and pies; jerky and meat snacks.

Gen XersBuy a lot of coffee and hot cocoa; nuts, seeds, trail mix and dried fruit; seasonings, spices and spice rubs.

Baby BoomersFar less likely to buy beverages like juice and soft drinks; jerky and meat snacks; and snack bars and energy bars.


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Tags: baby boomers, consumer retail trends, gen xers, generation trends, igeneration, Millennials

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