Marketing Food to Millennials  8/24/2016

Grocery Stores Go Millennial
Sorry grocery retailers, a new study found that almost half of all consumers spend as little time as possible shopping for food. Although 74% of American consumers say their main grocery retailer carries items they want, and 64% believe retailers always, or mostly, understand their grocery requirements and offer value, something is missing from the mix. Millennial consumers are looking for a more personalized experience in retail—and that includes the supermarket. The overall shopping experience, value, quality, and service are more important to consumers than having a dozen varieties of ketchup on the shelves.

Adventures in grocery shopping
A survey of America’s top grocery stores places Wegmans, the Rochester, New York-based supermarket at the top of the list. The chain prides itself on the freshest produce, reasonable prices, and convenience. Arguably, consumers can find these things at any supermarket, but what sets Wegmans apart is an unparalleled theatrical shopping experience and a sense of discovery. Compared to its competitors, analysts found the chain wins on quality, consistency, price, consistency, experience and customer service. And, for Millennial consumers who seek adventure in every aspect of their lives, the Wegmans model lives up to their expectations.

Health and wellness a top priority
Globally, 67% of consumers say they actively seek products with healthful ingredients and 88% of consumers—from Generation Z to Baby Boomers—agree that they are willing to pay more for healthier foods. And, like other food-fads that have come before, this shift towards healthier foods is more than just a fleeting trend. The fact that consumers are taking more responsibility for their health and educating themselves on the role that diet plays in wellness is notable. Food brands and grocery stores that offer transparency and highlight the health benefits of products can engage consumers both at the store and online.

Evolving Consumers
In addition to experience and health and wellness, food safety and the social impact of the food industry are adding to the conversation and increasingly becoming drivers of behavior. In fact, researchers discovered that traditional divers alone (taste, price, and convenience) no longer represent the dominant influence of customer purchase decisions. Roughly half of consumers now weigh safety, social impact, experience, and health as deciding factors. Researchers also found that consumers with a high reliance or use of social media, as well as those with higher levels of manufacturer and retailer distrust display a higher preference for evolving drivers when making purchase decisions. Earning trust through transparency and honest, on-brand communication will be key to win these consumers.

Today, Millennial consumers are making purchase decisions on both traditional and evolving factors and communicating the benefits of your brand, retail store, or ecommerce site to consumers will be critical for success. Learn how Women’s Marketing can help you reach your core consumer through persona based marketing and develop a strategic media plan that taps into the buying power of women. Contact us today to learn how our media buying & planning services can benefit your brand. 

Sources: Nielsen Roadmap to Retail Growth: Why Bigger is Not Always Better June 2016, Market Force Information America’s Favorite Grocery Retailers April 2016, Forbes Consumers Want Healthy Foods and Will Pay for Them February, 2015, Deloitte Capitalizing on the Shifting Consumer Food Value Equitation January 2016

Andrea Van Dam

Women's Marketing

Women’s Marketing is the leading media strategy, planning, and buying organization for emerging and high-growth brands. We offer a deep understanding of how women consume, engage, and take action with media, with unmatched expertise in beauty, health, fashion, food, and beverage. Every Women’s Marketing client enjoys the benefits associated with the significant purchasing scale we achieve through the vast network of companies we serve and our strong relationships with global media leaders.

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