We’ve all heard, you are what you eat, but apparently you are how you shop too. A recent survey looked at the generational habits of shoppers (The Why Behind the Buy—14th edition, Acosta, 2018, Food Technology, 3.18). Unsurprisingly it showed that younger shoppers are more likely to incorporate technology into their shopping, whether it be with digital coupons, comparison shopping or buying their groceries online. While older shoppers tend to be more brand loyal and more loyal to their shopping venues. And for the record, Boomers—still the largest group of shoppers, more than 72 million—are considered ‘technology capable.’ This means they may not be doing their grocery shopping online yet, but they may down the road or from the couch. Something to keep in mind—Boomers are partial to locally-sourced and U.S. grown/manufactured products. Interestingly this complements the Millennial desire to know where and how food is grown, harvested and processed.
Insights, perhaps not as expected, were that the oldest generational shoppers (72+) spend the most on groceries per person per month. Then again, they’re the generation least likely to eat out. On the other hand, Millennials and Gen Z are more likely to eat healthy and buy organic, even if it’s more expensive. Similarly Gen Xers prefer all-natural ingredients and hormone, antibiotic and gluten-free products. These younger generations are also more likely to try new products and flavors. Also, not surprising, younger people are more likely to eat and shop at non-traditional food retailers, i.e., not your everyday supermarket.
My take on this is—while there are generational differences in how people shop and those will continue to evolve, there are definitely commonalities in the types of products desired. That common ground is clean labeling. Simple ingredients, locally sourced, minimally and sustainably processed with complete transparency back to the consumer. As a grower-owned fruit cooperative, Tree Top grew up following these principles and still holds true to them today. In fact, you can see it for yourself. View our videos, and meet our growers–watch how whole fruit is transformed into delicious tasting fruit ingredients. Watch Pear Video