Understanding the Millennial Consumer

by Andrew Hoeft | Jun 17, 2016 12:00:00 AM

The millennial generation has become the topic of much discussion throughout multiple industries-especially in the retail grocery market.

The spending power is on a rise, however, in order to capitalize on the growth, the buyer personal must be understood at a high level—the ages are between 21 and 39, make up about 22% of the entire population, and own $1.7 trillion in spending power.

Let’s consider some characteristics of these consumers:

They span a broad age range. The difference between a 21-year-old Millennial just graduating college versus a Millennial in her mid-30s with children is significantly different outside of age.

Ethnically Diverse

  • 42% are from ethnic populations (Black, Asian or Hispanic) and fully 38% are bilingual. This uncovers a need to be communicated to in different ways and will shape their tastes and preferences.

 Digital in Nature

  • They use social media and peer reviews to form opinions, shop online or from a mobile device and incorporate new digital tools into their shopping routines.
  • 70% of Millennials only make a major decision by first running it by their network and prefer brands with a well-developed social and mobile media presence.

Access is Key

  • The growth of Uber, AirBnB, Netflix, Spotify or Instacart.
  • “25 years from now, car sharing will be the norm, and car ownership an anomaly.” — Jeremy Rifkin, Author and Economist

They Founded Crowdfunding

  • The world’s largest crowdfunding platform is Kickstarter and has dispersed more than $2 billion in project pledges since 2009.
  • Entrepreneurs and activists are raising capital and awareness by leveraging social networks—there is less traditional strategies implemented.

Food Away from Home

  • 43% of every dollar that Millennials spend on food is spent outside the home (MarketWatch).
  • They are the drivers of fast casual restaurants and more diverse cuisines.

Provenance, Authenticity, Sustainability and Local

  • They want more transparency from the businesses from where they shop.
  • “Craft” and “artisanal” products that stress ingredient purity, uniqueness and a message are on a rise.
  • Beer, chocolate, coffee, teas, etc., are now have stories behind the brand.
  • There is a strong devotion on time and money to exercising and eating right.

Millennials are the go to topic for retailers because of the rising market share and spending power. These consumers are smart, tech savvy, and very well read before they make any purchases. However cautious and particular they may seem, they are spending money in the businesses that are identifying these characteristics and offering services or products accordingly.

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