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Generations' grocery shopping behavior in the U.S. - statistics & facts

Age can often be a characteristic that corresponds with drastic differences in behavior. Younger consumers embrace new business models and initiate changes in a variety of markets. Older consumers meanwhile are often unable or unwilling to connect quickly to these emerging trends, if they connect to them at all. The most common age grouping is the generational cohorts, who each share a range of birth years. The generations are generally assumed to share some behaviors since they share similar living experiences. Millennials are now the largest generational cohort in the U. S., with around 72.12 million Americans falling into this group. Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996 and are also known as Generation Y.

Impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on generational food shopping

Covid-19 has accelerated the shrinking of the Baby Boomer population, the second-largest generation, since the coronavirus has been disproportionately affecting older age groups. Therefore, it has increased the share of Millennials and Gen Xers amongst active consumers. The pandemic has also drastically reshaped grocery shopping habits. Eating at home has become more common especially among older Generations. Members of Generation Z responded to the pandemic by increasing their use of drive-thru, take-out, and delivery options. Since dining out has become less of an option, the number of consumers who buy more food and beverages has grown across all generations and multiple categories. Younger generations especially have increased in-store food shopping for both micro-waved food and healthy food at the same time.

Grocery shopping

Grocery store foodservice shoppers are most commonly members of Generation Y or Generation X, with 36 and 35 percent, respectively. Boomers make up under a quarter of all such shoppers. Convenience stores see see more younger shoppers, with virtually no members of the Silent Generation using such stores. Online shopping was the domain of the younger generations and 45 percent of Millennials have used online-only grocery retailers, while 18 percent of Boomers were attracted by these online-only stores. In June of 2020, the use of online grocery services had become widespread and was used by two-thirds of the members of Generation Z.

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 40 most important statistics relating to "U.S. generations: grocery shopping behavior".


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