Connecting With Millennials

The Lempert Report
June 16, 2015

Need help with the millennial generation?! Check out these tips to put you ahead of the competition.

The more appeal a supermarket has to millennials the more beneficial for the retailer.   For example, Whole Foods should get credit for being open about its plan to develop a sister chain of smaller, tech-rich stores with lower prices to be more affordable to younger shoppers. Whether Whole Foods new business models does its job or not, in our view is supermarkets nationwide must acknowledge millennial differences and life challenges. In Facts, Figures & the Future we came up with eight steps in mind for supermarkets to consider:

1. Put Millennial workers in the ears of corporate leadership. Keep stores sensitive to their trip planning and shopping patterns, their use of mobile, apps and other technology, what they want from stores and websites, what they share and say on social media about foods, beverages, brands and stores. 
2. Curate selections. Create excitement in line with Millennials' adventurous palates, since they help spearhead food trends such as artisanal, ethnic, local and organic. 
3. Show you have their health in mind. Prominently display antibiotic-free and grass-fed meats, locally farmed fresh foods, organic choices, and less-processed foods in center-store. 
4. Be fun! Spur Millennials to take a quick brew and food break, and supply inventive drinks for playoff parties and other fun beer-based events at home. 
5. Communicate the way they want - run omnichannel. The generation that lives on Seamless and GrubHub with restaurant food wants similar convenience from supermarkets - to order via website or app, then pick up or have food delivered. 
6. Step up the pace. Whether introducing new foods, serving Millennials face-to-face or via technology, running check lanes with safer high-tech payment systems, staging themed events, and executing store pickup and delivery;  this new generation will not tolerate waiting in lines...or being treated like a number. 
Be efficient and quick!
7. Have transparent sustainability policies and support charities. Be in sync with Millennials who want to make the world a better place.
8. Finally, Be affordable. Millions of this generation are under-employed and burdened by college debt and high rents. Show that you have realistic expectation on what they can afford. 

Grocers that understand and Millennials better will become destinations of choice for this elusive group.