Millennials Target Convenience

The Lempert Report
February 17, 2015

Where are Millennials getting their food from now?

According to an analysis of millennial out-of-home eating habits conducted by research firm NPD Group, millennials are not as into the casual dining chains, such as Chipotle or Panera, as we may have thought. As first reported by USA Today, apparently the majority are trading down even more… for convenience stores. 

Harry Balzer, chief food industry analyst at NPD Group, told USA Today that for food and beverage stops, convenience stores are almost twice as important to millennials — consumers ages 18 to 34 — as fast-casual restaurants.

The research, "Eating Patterns in America"; shows that convenience stores accounted for 11.1% of Millennial food and beverage stops in 2014, compared to 7.7% in 2006.  Fast-casual also increased and accounted for 6.1% in 2014 vs. 3.1% in 2006.

We've seen recently, convenience chains of all sizes, including 7-Eleven upgrade not only their appearance but also fresh food options. Last year, 7-Eleven began to offer large, take-out pizzas for $5.55 and in Southern California many stores began selling "nutritionally-balanced" fresh sandwiches, wrap and salads — and even cold-pressed juices — under the banner of fitness guru Tony Horton Kitchen. 

When it comes to appealing to the ever growing health conscious and convenience seeking millennial generation, there are no rules and it will be those retailers that adapt and adjust, that win customers.