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How millennials are changing the supermarket game

(Business) Millennials are shaking up a lot of things in the world, including the supermarket industry.

Grocery store representing supply chain issues.

millennials and supermarkets

Millennials are changing how shopping works

Grocery shopping used to be fairly simple: check the pantry, make a list, and head to the store, but times are clearly changing and millennials are pushing the supermarket industry in new directions. A recent report from the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), a nonprofit representing the interests of food retailers and wholesalers, examined the ways in which consumers change their shopping habits from one generation to the next.

This report outlines the differences in shopping habits, expectations, and preferences; and one thing is abundantly clear: millennials are shopping differently than any other generation.

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For example, millennials are far more likely to build a shopping trip around a particular recipe, instead of stocking up on staples as previous generations have done. Previous generations were more prone to watch sales ads, clip coupons, and try to match up deals to get the most value for their money; while millennials are far more likely to make an impromptu trip to the store, not focusing as much on bargains. Of course is not true for every single millennial, but rather the majority of those surveyed.

Fully 37% of millennials state they only make a list right before going to the store: compare this to previous generations of list-makers and this is a fairly significant number. Millennials are also more likely than any other generation to seek out food and beverage options that are minimally processed, contain a short list of recognizable ingredients, or are grown locally. 

Quality is the new name of the game

And herein lies one of the reasons why millennials are causing a shift in the supermarket game: to meet their prevalent preference for “better quality,” markets are moving to incorporate more and more organic and farmer grown products. Even larger chain stores, like Target and Walmart are making a shift towards offering more organic items, to retain millennials’ business. Earlier this year, Walmart announced it would roll out a line of low-cost organic products, making better choices more affordable.

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Regardless of where or how millennials shop, they are influencing the market; but to ensure the best deals, it is better to come prepared: make a list, check the ads, and learn from the previous generations of bargain hunters. Finding organic on a budget is much easier, but it is still wise to shop around for the best deals before you buy the ingredients for your next culinary exploration.

Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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