Chicago, IL—Millennials are outspending older generations in food dollars, according to a press release from IRI Consumer Connect. Millennial dollar sales grew by 21.5% for March year-over-year, whereas for retirees and seniors, dollar sales went down 3.8% for March y-o-y.

Joan Driggs, VP of content and thought leadership for IRI, contextualized these findings in the release: “Younger millennials have been lulled by the historically low unemployment rates, which is boosting their overall confidence and loosening their wallets. 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.”

Food sales increased in January 2019, but it was slower than the industry average and dipped again in February and March. Produce and meat both declined, but the bakery department posted strong dollar growth driven by price, according to the release. Beverage and liquor were top-performing departments in Q1.

Across generations, people are looking to save money using several tactics:
  • Buying private label
  • Trying new, lower-priced brands
  • Visiting multiple retailers
  • Downloading coupons
The release also noted that nearly 60% of customers are interested in eating less meat, nearly 80% of millennials are eating alternatives, and plant-centric products garnered more than $13 billion in cumulative sales in 2018.

“The latest generational spending habits, combined with increased interest in plant-based and sustainable products, open up an array of new opportunities for CPG marketers,” said Driggs. “Marketers must be very savvy and develop personalized, targeted marketing campaigns that appeal to the various generations of shoppers.”

Read morehere.