Progressive Grocer

Grocerant February 2017

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12 SOLUTIONS FEBRUARY 2017 "[Millennials] like good food...but don't know how to cook for themselves." — Jim Hertel, Willard Bishop hand, there is the idea of the supermarket in its barest form as an ingredient warehouse, and on the other hand, there is the restaurant, where foods are procured for you, cooked for you, and the dishes are done for you. Now, though, you're starting to see things filling in along the continuum, and that's where I think the grocerant comes in." Grocerant appeal In a 2016 report, A Generational Study: e Evolution of Eating, NPD found that although millennials visit grocery stores less than other groups, "retail foodservice is gaining traction with them." e NPD report notes that grocery prepared foods are rated high on freshness and quality, which are especially important attributes to millennials. Grocerants also are uniquely poised to deliver on the "food experience" or "food theater" that many millennials seem to embrace, according to NPD. at can range from a store team member dressed in traditional Japanese garb prepar- ing fresh sushi rolls, to a toque-wearing chef bringing trays of hot food from the kitchen to the prepared food area, to a deli staffer demonstrating hand-pulling fresh mozzarella. "Millennials' interest in the benefits and experience that supermarket foodservice offers will continue to be strong over the next several years," says David Portalatin, NPD vice president and food industry analyst. Meeting the challenges As grocerants compete for millennials' business, this de- mographic's use of—and expectations for—technology will present both opportunities and challenges. "ey have never known a world that doesn't have personal technology," says Hertel. "ey are information junkies, and even more than the rest of us, are tied to their phones or other digital devices." Social media is part of that technology and can be a key way to connect with millennial customers. Chicago-based menu research firm Technomic reports that two-thirds of millennials and Generation Z-ers (post-millennials) say they follow foodservice via social media sites, with older millennials using Facebook, Pinterest and Groupon, and younger millennials and Gen Z consumers using Insta- Many millennials are looking for a "food experience" at the supermarket.

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