Why Grocerants Covet Millennials

June 27, 2018

Why Grocerants Covet Millennials

Interest by younger consumers cements foodservice value to stores

Millennials are the target market for foodservice in retail concepts, Mintel’s Amanda Topper, associate director of foodservice research, told her NRA Show audience during her presentation, The Power of Foodservice at Retail.

Here are compelling reasons why:

  • Their experience-seeking includes dining or taking out when shopping, more so than other generations – 39% of this age group say “retail foodservice makes grocery shopping fun,” 35% say they “sometimes go to the store just for a meal,” and 20% say they “sometimes go just for an alcoholic drink.”  These figures handily beat those of iGen, GenX and Baby Boomers.
  • In general, Millennials enjoy unique experiences, and foodservice concepts can provide a reason to visit one retailer over another. 
  • Plus, they tend to shop across multiple retailers (including online) when buying groceries; this presents opportunities for multiple retailers to appeal to this generation.
  • Their desire for fresh prepared meals and snacks, such as soups and salad bar items, keep supermarkets/discount grocers the leading retail destination for prepared foods. 
  • 42% of Millennials express interest in in-store coffee shops vs. 34% of iGen, 23% of GenX and 18% of Boomers, while 18% of Millennials express interest in bars vs. 7% of GenX and 4% of Boomers.

Consumers that favor in-store restaurant food tend to be younger males and urban high-earners, often with children, the Mintel data show.

People who shop at natural grocers such as Whole Foods Market express consistently higher interest in sit-down restaurants (26% vs. 12%), sushi stations (23% vs. 8%) and bars (18% vs. 4%) than supermarket loyalists do; the data suggest that stores may attract these consumers by adding these concepts.