Supermarket Perimeter - January 2021 - 8

Millennials
Gen Z

&

COVID accelerated the
trends that appeal to
younger generations

t's no secret that the younger generations shopping the
supermarket (millennials and Gen Z, those under 35) have
very different expectations from their older generation
counterparts (Gen X and Baby Boomers).
Members of Gen Z and younger millennials have always
known a digital society that can easily be personalized to fit each
individual's needs and desires, pointed out Jonna Parker, principal
of Chicago-based IRI's Fresh Center of Excellence.
" From their early lives, [millennials and Gen Z] could get what
they wanted from the fashion industry or the tech industry, "
Parker said. " They're used to a rapid pace of change, especially
from consumer goods. And yet, I think there's a disconnect with
those expectations in the grocery industry, because the entire
infrastructure of that industry has not historically changed. "
That was true until 2020. The many changes brought on by
COVID-19 last year, actually have a chance to serve as the best
strategy going forward for reaching younger generations:
* Even before COVID-19 hit, younger shoppers have been more
inclined to want transparency, sustainability and ethics applied
to the brands they buy. The events of 2020 have brought all of
those trends to the forefront, and continuing that emphasis will
help attract Gen Zers and millennials.
* Millennials and Gen Z have also been historically driven to
purchase better-for-you items that appeal to health, wellness
and mindfulness. COVID-19 has brought awareness to the
products that fit that bill as consumers try to support their
immune systems, as well as mental health.

8 - JANUARY 2021

* Since March 2020 online grocery sales have boomed, hitting
numbers that were projected for 2025, five years in advance.
Before the pandemic hit, members of Gen Z and millennials
were already shopping online more than older generational
cohorts, a lead that has grown due to COVID, and has the
potential to keep trending if retailers keep up momentum.
* COVID-19 has also shifted patterns for Gen Z and millennials.
A year ago, younger consumers were more likely to go out to
eat; now, as restaurants have limited capacity due to the virus,
even the youngest shoppers are buying food to prepare and eat
at home.
There are plenty of opportunities for fresh departments to use
the changes brought in by 2020 to reach their younger shoppers.
It's up to retailers to keep the momentum going.

A generation cooking at home for the first time
Since the start of the pandemic, IRI has noted that 83% of all
meals in the United States are prepared in the home. For young
consumers this is the first time many have had to prepare their
own meals, leaving a big opportunity for retailers to step in.
" This entire generation of new cooks desperately needs
solutions, ideas and inspiration, " said Parker. " It's been a really
exciting demographic to watch in categories like raw meat and
dairy where they might not know what makes grass-fed beef
different from conventional. When you go to the store you're
faced with this wall of meat and have to read all of the labels to
figure out what everything is. Retailers can help products resonate

supermarketperimeter.com

RH2010 - STOCK.ADOBE.COM

I

BY EMILY PARK


http://www.supermarketperimeter.com

Supermarket Perimeter - January 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Supermarket Perimeter - January 2021

Supermarket Perimeter - January 2021 - 1
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2021 - 1
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2021 - 2
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2021 - 3
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2021 - 4
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2021 - 5
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2021 - 6
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2021 - 7
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2021 - 8
Supermarket Perimeter - January 2021 - 9
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