Man And Boy

Meet the shopper of the future

Man And Boy

As the retail landscape evolves, understanding the changing dynamics across different generations is essential for brands aiming to stay relevant. Over the next decade, a variety of factors, including demographic shifts, economic divergence and evolving household structures, could impact future shopper behavior. As we look to the future, projected demographic changes and grocery purchase signals offer valuable insights for brands.

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With an aging population, increased diversity and evolving household structures, brands have an opportunity to meet the needs of older consumers, as well as culturally diverse groups. Additionally, with Generation Z's income projected to surpass millennials' by 2031, Gen Z consumers will soon have significant purchasing power.

Decoding grocery purchase signals

Our dietary choices and shopping behavior reflect our lifestyle, priorities and life stages in ways that demographics alone cannot capture. Grocery data or purchase signals across different age groups provide a baseline for understanding future consumer needs.

For instance, our research shows that Gen X shoppers tend to over-index in the following:

  • Beauty and personal care

  • Adult clothing

  • Home decor (indoor and outdoor)

  • Italian food categories

And they under-index in tobacco products and baby care.

In comparison, millennial shoppers tend to over-index in:

  • Children's clothing

  • Child/baby care categories

  • Seasonal categories

  • Pre-packaged/convenient meals and snacks made with natural ingredients

They under-index in:

  • Medical supplies

  • Tobacco products

  • Meat and seafood

  • Outdoor plants/décor

These results reflect the life stages of Gen X and millennial shoppers. Gen X shoppers are unlikely to need baby care supplies while many millennials with young children are looking for a balance between nourishing their children with natural/organic foods and products at a reasonable price while enjoying the convenience of pre-made snacks and meals. They are likely trying to save money by purchasing less expensive meat cuts and probably have low need for medical supplies.

Sources: 84.51° Stratum. Total Kroger dollar sales growth from FY 2019 to FY 2023

  1. https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2018/03/graying-america.html

  2. https://www.census.gov/library/publications/2020/demo/p25-1144.html

  3. https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2020/01/09/trends-in-income-and-wealth-inequality/

  4. https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2023/06/more-than-a-quarter-all-households-have-one-person.html

  5. https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2022/03/24/the-demographics-of-multigenerational-households

  6. https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2020/04/28/millennials-overtake-baby-boomers-as-americas-largest-generation/

  7. https://www.privatebank.bankofamerica.com/articles/millennial-motivation.html

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