IRI: Millennials are hungry for new products

IRI: Millennials are hungry for new products

Related tags Generation x

Millennials are more likely to be hungry for new food products than other demographics, with 38% “always looking for new food products to try” versus 31% of total shoppers, according to survey data* from Chicago-based researcher IRI.

And when it comes to portability, 38% of millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) report that they are “always looking for new food products that can easily be eaten on the go”​ versus 24% of total shoppers, Susan Viamari, editor, thought leadership marketing at IRI Worldwide told FoodNavigator-USA.

Meanwhile, 47% of millennials often recommend new food products to family/friends (including those on social networks) vs 32% of total shoppers, said Viamari.

And this is worth taking seriously given that millennials’ dollar share of consumer packaged goods is set to increase from 17% in 2014 to 29% by 2020, she added.

The following influencers are much more powerful among millennials versus the average shopper, she added:

  • Information from a blog/social networking site: 256
  • In-store touch screen digital sign: 218
  • Smartphone app: 217
  • Mentioned/suggested by store clerk: 213
  • Information from website/email: 184

“This is presented as an index, with 100 indicating that level of influence is the same among millennials as it is among shoppers as a whole. A number above 100 means influence is higher among millennials versus shoppers in general.

“As you can see, new media are much more influential among millennials. Also, millennials are very into their social network, whether that means virtual friends (those with whom they interact only online) as well as among real-life family/friends/associates.”

Millennials’ dollar share of US CPG market is set to increase from 17% in 2014 to 29% by 2020

As for tastes, “Millennials are also more experimental when it comes to flavors and textures and they want more excitement and fun from the food shopping experience,” ​she said.

But while some market watchers claim that this spells bad news for the center of the store and good news for retail formats that focus more on fresh, perimeter items, many center of store and frozen food brands from SkinnyPop to Bertolli pasta dinners do resonate with millennials, who want fresh, natural and organic but also want convenience, she said.

And while some researchers say that millennials are more spontaneous shoppers, they are actually more likely to make a shopping list than Gen Xers, claimed Viamari.

That said, IRI didn’t ask shoppers what’s on their lists, she added (one shopper might produce an itemized list of all the ingredients needed to make dinner for the week, while another shopper might scribble ‘toothpaste, shampoo, something for dinner tonight’).

Meanwhile, millennials are increasingly browsing online before shopping in the store and using their smart phones to compare products and prices when they are in-store, she added. 

* The data is from IRI's 2015 New Product Survey, a nationally representative internet-based survey of 1,500 consumers conducted in March 2015.

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