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What will the shopper of tomorrow look like?

A report from Kroger’s 84.51° says they’ll be more ethnically diverse

The shopper of the future will be older, more ethnically diverse, and more likely to live in a one-person or multigenerational household, according to a new report from 84.51°, the data research arm of Kroger. 

These and other factors will impact shopping trends, including what consumers buy and how they make those purchases, according to the report. 

“Over the next decade, the diversification of consumer wealth, ethnicity, family dynamics, and many more factors will have a substantial effect on the wants and needs of the average shopper,” the report noted. “Projected demographic shifts and grocery purchase signals provide a starting point to help brands maintain relevance and drive continued growth today and in the future.” 

The report predicts the following: 

  • People over the age of 65 will outnumber children under 18 by 2034.
  • Over the next decade, the U.S. caucasian population will decline by 7%, while the Hispanic and Asian populations will increase by 12% and 13%, respectively.
  • Income inequality is expected to grow in the coming years, which will put downward pressure on economic growth. 
  • Both one-person and multigenerational households will grow.
  • By 2033, the millennial population will peak at 74.9 million. 
  • Gen Z's income will rise to $33 trillion by 2030 and will surpass millennials’ by 2031.

This shift will impact what these demographics purchase, and while those changes are impossible to predict, 84.51° released a breakdown of the most frequently purchased and least frequently purchased products by generation.

Generation Z most frequently purchased crackers and miscellaneous baked goods, refrigerated Asian foods, processed cheese, popcorn, and refrigerated coffee creamers. They least frequently purchased organic and cage-free eggs, candles and giftware, seafood with fins, crab seafood, beef sausage, and ground beef assortments. 

“Convenient and portable snacking options like crackers, baked goods and popcorn are popular with this on-the-go generation, which could shift as they age,” the report noted. 

Millennials most frequently purchased bagged snacks, baked breads, fluid milk products, natural cheese, and bananas. They least frequently purchased dry sauce and gravy made with natural ingredients, South American foods, personal protective equipment (PPE) products, frozen juices made with natural ingredients, and pipe tobacco. 

Gen X most frequently purchased bagged snacks, baked breads, fluid milk products, natural cheese, and soft drinks. They least frequently purchased South American foods, dry sauce and gravy, frozen juices made with natural ingredients, kids bath products, and outdoor storage and pet products.

Many of the most frequent purchases by millennials mirror those of Gen X shoppers, “suggesting an opportunity for brands to highlight complementary products or additional flavors for bagged snacks, bread and milk,” the report stated. 

“They also share commonalities in their least purchased categories, pointing to an opportunity for innovation or to diversify product portfolios to better resonate with Gen X and millennials,” the report added. 

Baby boomers most frequently purchased fluid milk products, baked breads, bagged snacks, bananas, and natural cheese. They least frequently purchased cider, frozen meat and seafood made with natural ingredients, hair care products made with natural ingredients, refrigerated dough made with natural ingredients, and infant care products. 

The report also noted that Gen Z, the youngest generation studied, diverged from the other generations in how they shop for groceries. 

They are more likely to buy online for pickup and have the highest spending ratio for pickup services. “Gen Z shoppers have the highest spending ratio for buy online for pickup services compared to other generations, underscoring the importance of digital touchpoints for influencing purchase decisions,” the report said. 

Gen Z shoppers spend 2.6 times more per trip when buying online for pickup, compared to in-store purchases. Baby boomers spend 2.2 times more, while both Gen X and millennials spend approximately 2.4 times more for online pickup orders.

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