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IDDBA 2014: Many Millennials leave primary channel to shop dairy, deli, bakery

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Many Millennial shoppers look for items in dairy, deli and bakery outside of their primary store, The Hartman Group CEO Laurie Demeritt said in an IDDBA session titled “Key Shifts in Food Culture: How Consumer Preferences and Behaviors are Evolving and How to Respond.”

While their reasons for shopping elsewhere differ by category, Millennials often go looking for what they perceive are value and variety, Demeritt said.

Sometimes Millennials shop fresh categories in other mainstream stores, but for categories like specialty cheeses and bakery they are seeking out specialty stores. Half of Millennials leave their primary store to buy specialty cheese, Demeritt said.

Millennials are also more likely than Boomers to regularly shop these perimeter categories. Two thirds of Gen Y shop at least monthly for specialty meats, compared to 45% of Boomers, and 61% shop at least monthly for specialty cheese, vs. 39% of Boomers.

In the past three months, Millennials shopped an average of nine different stores, compared to the Boomer average of six stores. However, Millennials don't see themselves as not brand loyal, Demeritt said. They just want to explore and take advantage of all the different options that are available.

Demeritt's presentation was based on a new IDDBA-commissioned study called “Engaging the Evolving Shopper: Serving the New American Appetite” that was conducted by The Hartman Group.

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