Canadian Pizza Magazine

‘Grocerants’ attracting millennials with high-quality food and experience

By Canadian Pizza   

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Chicago – Supermarkets are attracting millennial customers by providing restaurant-quality food, in-store dining and other perks, and the trend is only growing in the U.S., new research from The NPD Group suggests.

Restaurant-quality and fresh food, chef-driven menus, in-store experiences have given rise to the “grocerant” and inspiration to millennials to visit and spend, a recently released NPD report entitled “A Generational Study: The Evolution of Eating” has found.

In-store dining and take-out of prepared foods from grocers has grown nearly 30 per cent since 2008, and accounted for 2.4 billion foodservice visits and $10 billion of consumer spending in 2015, NPD Group said in a news release. Over 40 per cent of the U.S. population purchases prepared foods from grocery stores, and while millennials use grocery stores less than other generational groups, retail foodservice is gaining traction with them.

The study examines how eating behaviour of key generations are set to change as they move through life stages that examines the influence of age, generation, life stage, and values on current and future eating behaviour.


Consumers rate visits to Grocerants higher than traditional quick service restaurants (QSRs) on variety and healthy options. These attributes are among the most important motivators of purchase and customer satisfaction to prepared foods consumers. Grocery prepared foods are also rated higher on freshness and quality, which are attributes particularly important to Millennials, and freshness will remain an important factor in millennials’ eating behaviour as they go through their life stages, the report says.

Another way in which grocerants are appealing to millennials is by offering them an experience. Many grocers now offer restaurant-quality food at a lower cost than full service or some fast-casual restaurants, and specialty categories like Asian, seafood, Italian, Mexican, and barbeque. Grocery stores are aiming to cater to all dining needs, including hot, custom-prepared grilled meat, food bars, soups, and sushi. A growing number of grocery stores provide comfortable, casual seating for in-store dining and some a full-service restaurant.

“This forecast bodes well for food manufacturers and retailers who have their fingers on the pulse of what drives this generational group. Give the Millennials what they want – fresh, healthier fare and a decent price – and they will come,” says David Portalatin, vice-president of industry analysis at NPD Group.

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