Progressive Grocer

Grocerant February 2017

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11 SOLUTIONS FEBRUARY 2017 "Millennials are still forming their taste preferences." — Burt Flickinger, Strategic Resource Group sters may love their smartphones, but they also shop in brick-and-mortar stores. "Millennials are still forming their taste preferences and taste profiles, but what we saw on Black Friday and the Black Friday weekend [in 2016] was a record number of millennials shopping in stores as well as online, with more going to shopping centers," says retail consultant Burt Flickinger, managing director of Strategic Resource Group in New York City. Eating the millennial way Luckily for grocerant marketers, millennials are turning out to be perfect target consumers for sophisticated pre- pared food offerings. "ey like good food, and to them, everything has to be quality, but they don't have the money and don't know how to cook for themselves," says Hertel. In fact, 45 percent of consumers between the ages of 18 and 24, and 64 percent of those between 25 and 34, say they are only "somewhat good" at cooking, according to Port Washington, N.Y.- based NPD Group. Millennials also say they lack time to cook, the result of busy schedules and/or little desire to put in the time required for homemade meals. According to the American Time Use Survey from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Sta- tistics, people between the ages of 15 and 24 spend an average of 11 to 17 minutes on food preparation and cleanup on a daily basis. "What ends up happen- ing is that millennials are looking for value with a constrained income, and at the same time [they] want quality and convenience," notes Hertel. "On one Millennials have very specific demands when it comes to the foods they like to purchase and consume, suggests new research from a variety of sources. A taste of adventure Chicago-based market research firm Datassential defines millennial consumers as "experientialists," particularly older millennials, who tend to seek out bold flavors. According to the Generational Consumer Trend Report from Chi- cago-based Technomic, adventurous eating really reso- nates with millennials and older members of Generation Z (post-millennials). The report predicts that millennials will continue that desire "to experiment with food once they leave home and throughout their 20s." Ethnic diversity As part of their adventurous eating, millennials tend to embrace ethnic foods, including authentic dishes and foods with a twist, or with some kind of mashup with other flavors. A Generational Study: The Evolution of Eating, an NPD report, points out that grocerants are already providing ethnic fare across specialty categories like Asian, Italian, Mexican and barbecue, including Korean barbecue. Old favorites Even though they savor trying new foods, millennials still enjoy tradi- tional items too, such as pizza and burgers. "Menuizing one of those craveable foods can minimize the veto vote for multi-generational dining parties," according to the Technomic report. Custom cuisine Millennials seek out customization, which can serve as a major draw to grocerant areas, from in-store cafés to soup and salad bars to hot food buffets. The Food Marketing Institute's recently released report, The Power of Fresh Prepared/Deli, found that millennials are interested in "solutions prepared on the spot to their liking." Grab and go The millennial generation tends to eat on the go or grab food and take it home to consume at a later time. In its genera- tional study, Technomic found that millennials order takeout and delivery more than both baby boomers and the Gen X demographic between boomers and millennials. Millennials place the highest importance among the generations on fast service for takeout, according to Technomic. What does a millennial want? Millennials who are visiting fast-food restaurants less often as a result of their increased retailer meal solutions purchases Source: Technomic 2015

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