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Do Millennials Spend More on Food?

Boomers and retirees are embracing a variety of tactics

The Lempert Report

IRI Consumer Connect survey findings released shows that food inflation softened in the first quarter of 2019 to 1.7% compared to 2.2% in 2018. However, not everyone is freely opening their wallets, they say. Younger millennials (born during or after 1990) are outspending older generations in food dollars, while older cohorts are more likely to be using a number of money-saving tactics to keep food bills manageable.  

Younger millennial spending on food and beverages is clearly outpacing older baby boomers and retirees who struggled in the first quarter. In fact, younger millennials’ edible dollar sales grew by 21.5% for March compared to a year ago. And edible dollars sales for retirees and senior are down by 3.8% for March compared to a year ago.

Older generations are feeling a bit pinched and are embracing a wide variety of money-saving tactics:

  • Buying private label products. 
  • Trying new, lower-priced brands. 
  • Visiting multiple retailers.
  • Downloading coupons from retailer/manufacturer websites.

In addition, these older cohorts are more likely to buy food and beverage brands other than their preferred brand because they are on sale, and buy brands because they have a coupon. The senior discount might be on the way back.

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