I can still remember when we all thought the “natural” and “organic” movement was just another passing phase. How wrong we were. If anything, these Millennials are bound and determined to make believers out of most of us skeptics from years past. Leading the charge in my family is Rachel, who so happens to be the mother of my latest beautiful Grandchild, Amelia Rose (as a grandmother you never pass up the opportunity to boast about the Grandkids…so pics will follow!).
My point being that Millennials who are parents make up the largest group of organic buyers, according to the latest Organic Trade Association research. Not surprising 52% of parents who buy organics are between the ages of 18-34. This is obviously not a phase…and their reasoning to buy organic and natural varies. Leading the charge is the wellbeing of their children and the benefits of organic products. Rachel puts great value in knowing “where” and “how” their food is grown and sourced. Next in line, the sustainability of our environment.
As a retailer, how can we ignore these numbers? I get that shelf space is a commodity; I understand that for every new product we lose a long-suffering staple product or have to downsize facings. But can we afford to NOT do it and risk missing out on a whole generation of shoppers? This is definitely a strategic question.
“Millennials and younger members of Generatimillennialson X tend to be the biggest users of organic foods, and much more likely than average to agree that they especially look for organic or natural foods when they shop,” says David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts. Progressive Grocer recently reported Organic continues to be a growth driver for produce, according to the 2019 “Power of Produce” report from Arlington, Va.-based FMI – The Food Industry Association.
As a general rule, independent retailers have a done a pretty good job of incorporating organics and natural products into their perimeter store departments. And the numbers are just starting to show. Prepared and portable foods have had a good showing as well. Remember this is a generation who eat on the fly and meals are typically unplanned. So, when they do want to actually play Betty Crocker (sorry Rachel) they need some help. Recent reports show an increase in meat and poultry shoppers with Millennials. Organic, natural and grass-fed meats have a lot to do with that. In fact, two-thirds come home with meals they hadn’t planned on making. So, if decisions are being made while they’re walking the aisles of your store you have a lot more influence over their choices than you realize. Recipes, recipes, recipes…I hate to sound like a broken record but recipes can make or break you. Think about this…recipes will drive Millennials to center store products. Are you incorporating organic and recipes into your audio? Are you ready for them? Do you offer organic spices to go with that piece of meat? Are they aware you have? Are organic dairy items gracing your shelves? Have you promoted the benefits of organic products in your audio promotions? Can I get a hallelujah for a can of organic stewed tomatoes! (Believe me, a Millennial couldn’t stew a fresh tomato to save their lives) Or at least they couldn’t have before Covid.
I was reading an article on Media Post last week saying that Millennials/Gen Z are the most likely to say they purchase organic food “all the time”. All the time, did you hear that!
Even as a proud Boomer, I too am faced with having to adapt my shopping purchases. These millennials are no joke on what goes into their kid’s mouths. As a card carrying #grandmillennial my refrigerator had better be stocked with the appropriate foods when my grandchildren grace my threshold. Organic juices √, Fresh chemical fresh fruit √√, natural lunch meat √, whole wheat breads √, natural juice popsicles √√√, twisters and skittles √……Did I just say that out loud? Great, now I’m in trouble…gotta run home now and hide that crap fast before you know who shows up and busts me.
Blue Skies Everyone!