By: Chad Ross, Manager, Industry Relations, Food Marketing Institute

FMI-12092014_393_e_WEBAs a Millennial, I use my smartphone to connect with friends, hail rides, track bank accounts, and find a pet-sitter when I head out of town on the weekends. With this mobile technology integrated into my daily life, it’s no surprise my generation is at the forefront of adapting digital tools to support their in-store shopping needs. 

Millennial Grocery Shopping Trends

More than nine in 10 Millennials (92 percent) own smartphones, according to new Pew Research Center data. FMI’s 2018 U.S. Shopper Grocery Trends report finds Millennials widely differ from previous generations in our use of digital tools as part of our ongoing exchange of information with stores and use of reward/loyalty cards. Millennials, especially those with children, continue to make regular use of their smartphone in the grocery aisle. Trends reports 56 percent of Millennial parents use at least one grocery-related app and manage their busy lives with a variety of mobile apps to find in-store items, coupons, sales recipes or product review.

Millennials continue to lead the way online in using the same-day and next-day delivery models but also in subscribing to meal kits and in taking advantage of online touchpoints for food service takeout or delivery. 

Loyalty Among Millennial Shoppers

Trends reports 90 percent of Millennials (with and without kids) engage with a supermarket or grocery store through rewards cards or accounts. As this digital landscape continues to change, stores need to align, complement or integrate rewards/loyalty programs with mobile accounts rather than replace them. 

FMI and Precima’s Next Generation Loyalty: Part One study finds, more than three-fourths of shoppers say they allocate more than half of their household grocery expenditure to a single store. However, primary does not equal exclusive. Among these shoppers, only three in 10 allocate more that 70 percent of their spending to a primary store. 

Shopper loyalty is not a card or a program or an initiative; loyalty must be earned by consistently satisfying the needs of shoppers better than the competition. The use of technology and mobile apps are one spoke on the wheel of customer satisfaction, it is a tool that will help us increase loyalty but alone does not guarantee it.

Find more about U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends and Next-Generation Loyalty in the reports.