5 Unique Buying Habits of Millennials

April 04, 2016

1. They Want to Try the Flavor of the Week

Millennials are promiscuous, they're exposed to millions of recipes, cuisines, options, and ideas. And they are much more likely to try new things than previous generations. They want what’s new, fresh, and trending. Whether it be the newest craft beer, the freshest organics, or the trendiest snack foods. Millennials are on a constant mission to explore flavors and they’re willing to find the money to indulge in these experiences.

2. They Support Brands That Work Toward a Cause

Millennials have a desire to make positive and responsible decisions. They want to feel good about their purchases and are more likely to buy and support brands that are socially responsible. They want to make an impact, and they want to make the world a better place. There is an opportunity for brands to take advantage of this data, not only to increase sales and brand loyalty but to make an impact on world causes.

3. They are Far More Health Conscious than Generation X

Millennials are more in tune with health. They “diet” far less than Generation X, but instead make more conscious long-term eating decisions. They choose to spend more money on organics, products with short ingredient lists, and dining at small farm to fork restaurants and healthy fast-casual. They are not partaking in the latest health “fades,” but instead are making an attempt to eat natural foods. Many brands and retailers have caught on: Chipotle, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s are just a few that have developed their whole business concept around these trends.

4. They Make Their Purchasing Decisions on Social Media

Millennials are constantly on social networks and this has developed a new way of making purchasing decisions. It’s also revolutionized the way consumers generate loyalty for certain brands. Information is now instantly available. This includes product reviews, company pages on all social sites, and a digital brand identity. A shopper can make decisions while searching for brands on their mobile phones, and they are. In fact, millennials use social media as the number one influencer for choosing products, brands, stores, and places to go. As millennials gain more buying power look for brands to spend more time, energy, and money on their social media presence.

5. They’re Looking to Pay for an Experience

For millennials luxury is a lot different than generations of the past. It’s not about spending more money on something (say a $300 bottle of scotch or a $700 handbag), it’s more about experiencing a unique or exclusive experience. This could mean sampling good wines and cheeses at a supermarket, having a drink at a speakeasy, traveling to an exclusive and uncharted location, or enjoying a craft beer that’s only brewed in small quantities. Brands and retailers need to be more aware of this, grocers will need to enhance the in store experience. Stores like Lowe’s Foods have incorporated Beer Den’s in their stores where shoppers can sample and purchase local beer while they shop. Others have started to sample unique items and offer a catalog of trending and unique flavor profiles and brands. This aspect of the shopper experience also ties into these shoppers willingness to share the positive experience on their social feeds. Creating the buzz, trend, and exposure your brands need to help them grow in popularity among other millennials.  

The differences between Generation X and Y are exciting, yet startling for brands. Old business practices just aren’t resonating with these stubborn shoppers and changes will have to be made and made quick, or millennials will smoothly and carelessly transition to the next best thing.