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Millennials less satisfied than older shoppers with supermarket experience

Young consumers give checkout speed, staff availability low scores in survey

Millennials enjoy the supermarket experience less than Boomers and Gen Xers, according to a study by Retail Feedback Group (RFG).

The Lake Success, N.Y.-based research firm reported in its 2017 U.S. Supermarket Experience Study that Millennials rated supermarkets lower than older generations did on all core experience factors, as well as overall trip satisfaction. Boomers, on the other hand, rated overall trip experience and nearly all core experience factors higher than younger age groups did.

“The fact that overall trip satisfaction and all of the core experience factors register lowest among Millennials should be a call to action for supermarkets,” said Brian Numainville, principal at RFG. “Traditional supermarkets must find ways to make the supermarket more appealing and relevant to younger shoppers or risk becoming endangered as Boomers age and purchase less.”

The store experience factors rated included quality and freshness, cleanliness, variety/selection, staff knowledge/helpfulness, friendliness/attitude of staff, checkout speed/efficiency, staff availability and value for money.

Millennials rated their satisfaction with the overall trip experience a 4.35 on a scale of 1 to 5, compared with 4.39 for Gen Xers and 4.43 for Boomers. Millennials gave their lowest scores to checkout speed/efficiency and staff availability, with scores of 4.11 and 4.12, respectively.

Overall, supermarket shoppers rated quality/freshness of the food and groceries (4.45) and cleanliness of the store (4.40) as the two strongest core experience factors.

Supermarkets scored well on general variety and selection at 4.38, but scores were lower on certain specialty products, including natural and organic items at 4.05, ethnic/international products at 3.97, allergen-free items at 3.97 and locally sourced items at 3.96.

The supermarket channel rated the lowest of all channels studied in terms of value for the money, with a score of 4.18. Meat prices (3.98), produce prices (4.03) and everyday prices (4.03) all received low scores, while the channel performed better in advertised sale items (4.38).

Aldi scored the best in value for the money, with a satisfaction rating of 4.68. In addition, Aldi shoppers are more likely than supermarket shoppers to recommend the store to others, and 33% of those who shopped at Aldi said they plan to shop there more in the next 12 months than they do do now. That compares with 21% for supermarket shoppers and 10% for Walmart shoppers.

The research also found that 14% of supermarket shoppers tried a meal kit delivery service in the past year, with stronger interest from Millennials than older groups. The top reasons for using meal kits were home delivery and time savings, at 46% and 45%, respectively. Of those who did not buy meal kits, the primary reason was that they were too expensive (48%).

Of those who purchased a meal kit in their primary supermarket, the top reason given was good value, at 54%, followed by quality of ingredients at 53% and time savings at 51%.

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