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The Millennial Impact: Food Shopping Decisions - US - May 2019

Covered in this report

This report builds on the analysis presented in The Millennial Impact: Food Shopping Decisions – US, July 2017.

For the purposes of this report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

  • The generation born between 1977 and 1994. In 2018, Millennials are between the ages of 24 and 41.

In reference to the consumer survey findings, Millennials are defined as:

  • Younger Millennials are between the ages of 24 and 31
  • Older Millennials are between the ages of 32 and 41

"Millennials represent the largest generation group, comprising a quarter of the US population in 2018. They are an engaged group, being more likely than other generations to consider themselves “foodies” and more likely to enjoy shopping for food/drink. While they are entering their prime earning years, Millennials continue to prioritize cost savings in their shopping decisions. Brands can appeal to this time-strapped group through meeting their needs for cost savings and convenience, by aligning products toward overall wellness priorities, and by helping those Millennials who are parents make responsible choices for their family."
- Beth Bloom, Associate Director - Food & Drink

This Report looks at the following areas:

  • Millennials make up a quarter of the US population
  • Prioritization of cost savings keeps their food/drink spending down
  • More than half of Millennial households have kids
  • Millennials are ripe for engagement
  • Shopping online is about more than convenience
  • Brands can boost ties to wellness to appeal to health-conscious Millennials

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Millennials make up a quarter of the US population
            • Figure 1: Population by generation, 2018
          • Prioritization of cost savings keeps their food/drink spending down
            • Figure 2: Household share of total expenditures for food at home and away from home accounted for by each generation, 2017
          • More than half of Millennial households have kids
            • Figure 3: Food and drink purchase factors, February 2019
          • The opportunities
            • Millennials are ripe for engagement
              • Figure 4: Food and drink attitudes – enjoyment, February 2019
            • Shopping online is about more than convenience
              • Figure 5: Shopping for food and drink online – amount, February 2019
            • Brands can boost ties to wellness to appeal to health-conscious Millennials
              • Figure 6: Shopping for food and drink online – health comparison, February 2019
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Millennials represent the largest generation group in the US
                • Prioritization of cost savings stunts Millennial share of food/drink spend
                  • The presence of children in Millennial households dictates behavior
                    • Millennials could use help with stress and time savings
                    • Market Size and Forecast

                      • Millennial pursuit of cost savings keeps their spending down
                        • Figure 7: Household share of total expenditures for food at home and away from home accounted for by each generation, 2017
                      • Spending on food away from home by Millennials outpaces the average
                        • Figure 8: Share of total food expenditures spent on food at home and food away from home, by generation, 2017
                    • Market Factors

                      • Millennials are a large consumer group
                        • Figure 9: Number of births (in thousands) by year
                        • Figure 10: Population by generation, 2018
                      • Diversity and inclusion are key elements of current/future generations
                        • Figure 11: Distribution of generations by race and Hispanic origin, 2018
                      • Financial limitations seen despite entering strong earning years
                        • Figure 12: 2018 Household income distribution, shares by age of householder, 2017
                      • More than half of Millennial households have kids
                        • Figure 13: Households with own children under age 18, by age of householder, 2018
                      • Young people are stressed and time-strapped
                        • Figure 14: Health concerns, by generation, November 2018
                        • Figure 15: Snack motivations, by generation, November 2018
                      • eCommerce sales of consumables remain small, but gain ground
                      • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                        • Promoting quality to the value shopper
                          • Promoting health beyond the diet
                            • Focus on healthy aging is on the horizon
                            • What’s Working?

                              • All snack categories are experiencing sales growth
                                • Figure 16: Percentage growth in select snack categories, 2013-18
                              • Prepared meals and meal kits continue to make sales gains
                                • Figure 17: Preference of taste in prepared meals, February 2019
                              • Alternative view of health leads to strong gains among free-from options
                                • Figure 18: Food and drink claims by share of launches, 2015-19*
                                • Figure 19: Food and drink claims by fastest growing/declining share of launches, 2015-19*
                              • Millennials want to have fun with their food
                              • What’s Struggling?

                                • Legacy brands lose out to emerging brands for Millennial appeal
                                • What’s Next?

                                  • Emphasizing quality, no matter the price point
                                    • Figure 20: YouTube video, “How to Dye Easter Eggs Naturally,” April 2019
                                  • Health beyond the stats and beyond the now
                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                    • Millennials are less likely to be cooking from scratch
                                      • Taste leads food/drink choice, price remains important to Millennials
                                        • Value and variety drive Millennials to seek alternative shopping channels
                                          • Emerging brands have strong Millennials appeal
                                            • Children play a huge role in food/drink purchase
                                            • Food and Drink Behaviors

                                              • Home cooking
                                                • Millennials are less likely to prepare meals at home
                                                  • Figure 21: Food and drink behaviors, February 2019
                                                  • Figure 22: Food and drink behaviors, by generation, February 2019
                                                • Snacking
                                                  • Millennials are more likely to be snackers
                                                    • Figure 23: Food and drink behaviors - snacking, February 2019
                                                    • Figure 24: Food and drink behaviors – snacking, by generation, February 2019
                                                  • Breakfast
                                                    • Millennials are often skipping breakfast
                                                    • Food and Drink Choice Factors

                                                      • Taste leads food/drink choice, price remains important to Millennials
                                                        • Figure 25: Food and drink choice factors, February 2019
                                                        • Figure 26: Food and drink choice factors, by older/younger Millennials, February 2019
                                                        • Figure 27: Food and drink choice factors, by generation, February 2019
                                                      • Health plays a role in “ideal” eating day.
                                                        • Healthy diet often tied to feeling better
                                                        • Food and Drink Purchase Location

                                                          • Millennials are more likely to shop at mass merchandisers
                                                            • Figure 28: Food and drink purchase location, February 2019
                                                            • Figure 29: Food and drink purchase location, by generation, February 2019
                                                        • Shopping for Food and Drink Online

                                                          • Millennials shop for more online than non-Millennials
                                                            • Figure 30: Shopping for food and drink online – amount, February 2019
                                                          • Half of online shoppers have increased online shopping
                                                            • Figure 31: Shopping for food and drink online – Change, February 2019
                                                          • Shopping online is about more than convenience to Millennials
                                                            • Figure 32: Shopping for food and drink online – reason, February 2019
                                                        • Food and Drink Purchase Factors

                                                          • Children play a huge role in food/drink purchase
                                                            • Figure 33: Food and drink purchase factors, February 2019
                                                            • Figure 34: Food and drink purchase factors, by generation, February 2019
                                                        • Perception of Food and Drink Brands

                                                            • Legacy brands have secured generally positive perceptions
                                                              • Store brands excel for affordability, but have room to improve on other measures
                                                                • Emerging brands are inherently expected to be more responsible
                                                                  • Figure 35: Correspondence Analysis – Symmetrical map – Perception of food/drink brands, February 2019
                                                                  • Figure 36: Perception of food/drink brands, February 2019
                                                                • Millennials find emerging brands most appealing
                                                                  • Figure 37: Perception of food/drink brands, February 2019
                                                              • Attitudes toward Food and Drink

                                                                • Engagement/Identity
                                                                  • Millennials are ripe for engagement
                                                                    • Figure 38: Food and drink attitudes – enjoyment, February 2019
                                                                    • Figure 39: Food and drink attitudes – enjoyment, by generation, February 2019
                                                                  • Half of Millennials think brands represent them
                                                                    • Figure 40: Food and drink attitudes – values, February 2019
                                                                    • Figure 41: Food and drink attitudes – values, February 2019
                                                                  • Millennials are more distrustful of large companies than average
                                                                    • Figure 42: Food and drink attitudes, February 2019
                                                                    • Figure 43: Food and drink attitudes, by generation, February 2019
                                                                  • Health
                                                                    • Current health is more top of mind than healthy aging
                                                                      • Figure 44: Food and drink attitudes – health, February 2019
                                                                      • Figure 45: Food and drink attitudes – health, by generation, February 2019
                                                                    • Brands can boost food and drink’s role in health/wellness
                                                                      • Figure 46: Shopping for food and drink online – health comparison, February 2019
                                                                      • Figure 47: Shopping for food and drink online – health comparison, by generation, February 2019
                                                                    • Millennials associate healthy eating with simple and clean
                                                                    • Feeding Your Family

                                                                      • Parents could use help with healthy eating
                                                                        • Figure 48: YouTube ad, “Snack Time Struggle,” August 2018
                                                                        • Figure 49: Feeding your family, February 2019
                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                      • Data sources
                                                                        • Sales data
                                                                          • Consumer survey data
                                                                            • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                              • Correspondence analysis methodology
                                                                                • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                                                    • Terms
                                                                                    • Appendix – The Market

                                                                                        • Figure 50: Household share of total expenditures for food at home and away from home accounted for by each generation, 2017
                                                                                        • Figure 51: Household share of total expenditures for food at home and away from home accounted for by each generation, 2017
                                                                                        • Figure 52: Population by generation, 2013-23
                                                                                        • Figure 53: Distribution of generations by race and Hispanic origin, 2018
                                                                                        • Figure 54: 2018 Household income distribution, shares by age of householder, 2017
                                                                                        • Figure 55: Distribution of households, by age of householder and type of household, 2018
                                                                                        • Figure 56: Marital status, by age, 2018
                                                                                        • Figure 57: Households with own children under age 18, by age of householder, 2018
                                                                                    • Appendix – Key Players

                                                                                        • Figure 58: Food and drink claims by share of launches, 2015-19*

                                                                                    The Millennial Impact: Food Shopping Decisions - US - May 2019

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