Every generation has unique shopping habit shaped by the defining cultural traits of the era they grew up in. While Baby Boomers first experienced the internet well into adulthood, Generation Z doesn’t know a world before Google. These factors are important to consider when deciding how to connect with younger audiences.
I asked my friends about their grocery shopping habits. Their feedback gave insight into a demographic that maintains pretty routine habits but is influenced by social media and a desire to eat seasonal produce.
Among a group of 12 college-educated, mid- to late-twenties Millennials, the results were as follows:
Outside of my mini focus group, consumer research indicates that Millennials and Gen Z shoppers prioritize good value, high-quality fresh products, convenience, and variety. Both generations are very open to trying new things, value diversity, and care about sustainability. This creates opportunities for retailers to revamp produce displays and get creative with cross-merchandising.
On top of placing a greater emphasis on healthy eating than previous generations, the pandemic created shifts in meal preparation with Gen Z and Millennial consumers driving a trend towards trying more fruits and veggies, experimenting with new spices and flavors, and using new cooking methods and devices. Retailers and brands can capitalize on this home chef movement by providing recipe ideas, produce tips, and prep techniques in and outside of the grocery store.
Focus on convenience and ease. Young consumers accustomed to the instant gratification of the digital world may click off your website or app if they need to take too many steps to find the information they’re looking for, but a QR code or link to receive something in their inbox can create greater customer engagement and loyalty.
Outside of what’s happening in the produce department, brands have endless opportunities to connect with shoppers in the digital space. Crafting an effective social media strategy is no simple feat and requires trial and error, but a few things to keep in mind are authenticity, usefulness, visual appeal and shareability.
Unlike traditional ad placements, well-crafted social media posts have the power to turn your customers into your sales team. With a click of a button, a social media user can direct message, text, email, tweet, WhatsApp, or share your post to a number of other platforms. This is the fastest and most direct way to reach potential new audiences without ad spend. Brands should pay close attention to Saves and Shares metrics on social media platforms and use that in part to drive content creation. Remember the viral feta tomato pasta dish? While the original video may not have mentioned specific brands or retailers, the viralness of that post and the amount of times it was recreated and shared created lift and generated tons of buzz.
While there’s no formula for creating the ultimate viral post, tapping into trends can attract younger shoppers who are social media savvy and turning to digital platforms for meal ideas.
As members of the produce industry, it’s our job to understand the habits of young consumers and use that knowledge to innovate and adapt practices that will create a healthier generation.
By Grace Vilches, marketing coordinator for Healthy Family Project