How to engage with the ‘need it now’ generation

Pedestrians on tiled sidewalk.

Wholesalers must ensure that their product range meets time and convenience needs in order to unlock profit opportunities with post-millennials – the generation born between 1992 and 1999 that is set to overtake baby-boomers as the biggest spenders in the food and drink sector.

IGD, the research and training charity, has identified time and convenience as the key issues the industry can address to future-proof their businesses to align with these changing needs.

Fuelled by societal changes and advancements in technology, time and convenience underpin ten shopping and consumption trends that the research body has identified as defining post-millennials, who are also known as Generation Z.

Research shows that 69% of those surveyed said that they save time by buying prepared food in jars, tins, packets or cartons; and 64% claimed that they save time by buying food-to-go. IGD found that post-millennials will happily spend more on products that meet needs such as these.

Michael Freedman, senior shopper insight manager at IGD, said: “They [post-millennials] are interested in food, but ultimately, any work that the industry can do to highlight speed and convenience for them will pay dividends.

”Those businesses that fail to understand the specific requirements of them will only risk losing out. It will be key to future-proofing businesses to meet the growing demands from post-millennials who expect better products, prices, more product diversity and improved.”

When it comes to saving time, over half (54%) of post-millennials sometimes go to the nearest store even if it is more expensive, compared to 40% of those aged over 25. Furthermore, 52% of 18-25-year-olds claim they sometimes spend a bit more for easier to cook or prepare products, compared to 42% of those aged 26 and above.

These figures indicate that convenience comes through as an area with the most opportunities for engaging with 18-25-year-olds, with 20% mainly shopping at convenience stores. This is double the figure of those aged 26 and over (9%).

Yet despite most still shopping in larger stores, the use of them is still less than average (53% vs 63% of those aged over 26). When asked about their shopping experience in larger stores, 25% of 18-25-year-olds claim that they find it difficult to locate products, with 23% finding it too time consuming. Freedman explained that this prompts the question of whether or not the format of larger stores need improving to help engage with this particular audience.

He added: “This generation feel like they are ahead of the industry where innovation, store formats and technology are concerned and manufacturers and retailers are running to keep up with them. Larger stores will need to adapt to make the whole time-saving and convenience aspect of shopping suit the needs of this group.”

Here are the top ten areas post-millennials are saving time on with regards to food and grocery:

1. 77% save time by using self-checkouts

2. 69% save time by buying prepared food in jars, tins, packets or cartons

3. 68% save time by spending less time cooking

4. 67% save time by shopping in smaller convenience stores

5. 64% save time by buying food-to-go

6. 61% save time by buying pre-prepared meals or instant products

7. 57% save time by eating up leftovers from a previous meal

8. 56% save time by buying pre-cut products, such as vegetables or fruit

9. 55% save time by missing breakfast

10. 48% save time by cooking in bulk


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