Millennials Overtake Baby Boomers as Largest Generation of Consumers – But Who Are They and What Are They About?

Millennials Overtake Baby Boomers as Largest Generation of Consumers – But Who Are They and What Are They About?

  – President at Imprint Plus

As a business owner understanding your customer and your customers customer is very important to me.  With millennials buying power rising they are now the largest segment of the consumer population – overtaking baby boomers for the first time. It is important to understand who they are and take a look at how their spending preferences impact the retail, hospitality and food industries.

Who are Millennials, and what are they about? Defined as those born between 1982 and 1996; the younger range of the millennial scale at age 21 are currently graduating from college and entering the workforce, while the older end are becoming parents and have been in the workforce for at least 10 years. According to the Pew Research Center, millennials now account for the vast majority of women giving birth in the US.

Datassential, a market research firm, surveyed over 1,000 millennial consumers to learn how they differ, and reported some initial findings that should have an impact on the retail, dining, food and, hospitality industries:

Millennials are eating out and ordering in. Wherever they enjoy their meals, millennials are certainly more willing than the general population to let someone else do the cooking. Not only are they more likely to eat out, but they are also far more likely to have food delivered — in fact, they are more than twice as likely to have food delivered from nearly every away-from-home delivery option.

Millennials love lunch. For the overall population, their last meal out was most likely at dinner, however, for millennials, their last meal out was most likely lunch which may not be surprising for a generation that grew up on fast casuals.

Millennials are looking for new supermarket experiences. Millennials are not only more likely than the overall population to shop at specialty retailers like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, but they are also willing to consider a wider range of options for their grocery needs. They are far more likely than the general population to purchase groceries at their  convenience (over a quarter have in the past month), and are much more likely to have purchased groceries online (nearly 30% have).

Millennials are using some fancy prep methods. Millennials are comparatively less likely than the general population to bake or microwave their food, while they are more likely to poach, braise or steam their meals. Meal kit delivery services have been particularly focused on targeting customers, who are looking for ways to upgrade their cooking skills.

Millennials want an app for that. While the total population vastly prefers wait-staff to take their orders and bring food, millennials are far more interested than the general population in ordering ahead and picking food up via an app rousing ordering kiosks.