Millennials Outspending Other Generations on Food

The country’s low unemployment rates may be the contributing factor to higher spending on food and beverage.

June 10, 2019

CHICAGO – According to the IRI Consumer Connect Survey, food and beverage sales among millennials were 21.5% higher in March 2019 compared to March 2018. That number fell 3.8% among retirees and baby boomers.

“Younger millennials have been lulled by the historically low unemployment rates, which is boosting their overall confidence and loosening their wallets,” said Joan Driggs, vice president of content and thought leadership for IRI. “At the other end of the spectrum, many baby boomers, retirees and seniors are concerned about their retirement savings due to the volatile stock market this year and are watching their expenses more carefully.”

Grocery Dive reported on the insights too, saying that historically low unemployment rates may be the driving factor. The survey found that beverage and liquor were top-performing departments in Q1 2019.

Although the younger generations are spending more, all generations are using money-saving tactics. About 77% of millennials and 78% of retirees buy private label, and 77% of millennials and 69% of retirees reported trying a new, lower-priced brand.

The report also looked into emerging trends in sustainable and plant-based offerings. They’re gaining momentum as nearly 60% of consumers are interested in eating less meat and 80% are eating meat alternatives.

“The latest generational spending habits combined with increased interest in plant-based and sustainable products, opens up an array of new opportunities for CPG marketers,” added Driggs. “This doesn’t mean marketers should lose sight of older consumers, who still have the greatest purchasing power, but marketers must be very savvy and develop personalized, targeted marketing campaigns that appeal to the various generations of shoppers.”