Berry Favourable Demographics
Demographer Ken Gronbach has taught us that there are strong generational differences among consumers. It should therefore not surprise you that there is now evidence that what you like to eat may say a lot about what generation you belong to or want to belong. Generation Y is currently the largest U.S. consumer generation and is having a significant impact on current and future food trends. To ignore then is not in your interest if you are a farmer or fruit/berry grower.
You are what you eat
Baby Boomers – They prefer “classic” comfort foods such as braised meats, casseroles, and ice cream, but many also enjoy gourmet choices such as high-quality dark chocolate and fancy cheeses. They crave foods from their childhoods such as peanut butter, popcorn, foods made with canned tuna fish, chicken noodle soup, and hot oatmeal.
Generation X – They are more accustomed to commercial fare, and crave fast food (especially hamburgers) and burritos. They cite branded foods more often than the other generations, including favorite packaged cookies, ice creams, candies, and snacks.
Generation Y – They are also partial to burritos and ramen noodles — but in contrast to other cohorts, many also include healthier foods, including sushi and fruits, among their favorite comfort foods. They are less inclined than Generation X to associate specific brands with comfort foods.
Research is also identifying top trends in “comfort foods.” Generation Y desire to start the day with a “protein burst” are driving a trend toward ‘breakfast for dessert’. “Boxed cereals, already found in snack bars and coffee shops. They are driving sales of frozen organic and non-organic fruit for their morning smoothies.
This new research contributes to growing evidence that Generation Y is made up of a high proportion of real food lovers who are willing to put in the effort to create healthier, more flavorful dishes at home and demand better fare from restaurants. According to Mintel, young parents are among the most enthusiastic shoppers at Farmer’s markets and food co-ops. (Mintel, “Local Procurement” Feb 2009). Just six percent of those without kids buy local goods at farmers markets, compared to 9% of those with children.
So if you attend a family reunion or potluck this summer, pay attention to who brings what. Chances are, the Baby Boomer grandparents will be the one with the potato salad and chocolate chip cookies, the Generation singles will bring diet coke and Pizzahut, and the Generation Y family will be the one with the organic fruit and Asian curry.
Generation Y driving growth in ‘Organic Food.’
We have become firm believers in Organic and Locally Organic certification. It is not perfect, but what is in today’s rapidly changing world. We believe that despite its minor faults, it is becoming the ‘Health Food Standard’ for today’s health conscious consumer. You only have to walk into a Whole Foods supermarket chain and watch how consumers shop to notice the power of the local of organic food brand, despite the price premium.The organic premium, whether it be fresh or frozen, is becoming the norm rather than a ‘Boomer Fad.’
Today’s new consumer wave of ‘Generation Y’ is rapidly taking over from the aging ‘Baby Boomers’. It is larger in numbers and will continue to impact key market segments going forward. Critical for those companies involved in organic produce or healthy eating because Generation Y has re-discovered the real taste of food.
We work very closely with internationally respected demographer Ken Gronbach, who has helped us refine and predict new and changing trends in the agricultural and food sectors. His unusual blend of marketing savvy and common sense demography, based on twenty years of proprietary demographic study, set him apart. Ken keynotes all over the United States and does customized demographic research.
Kenneth W. Gronbach is president of KGC Direct and the author of the current best-selling consumer demographic’s book “The Age Curve: How To Profit from the Coming Demographic Storm”. Please click on the Ken’s YouTube link below and see why hundreds of companies trust his common sense demography.
October 2009 issue of ‘Age Curve Report.’
In October 2009, we wrote a sector watch piece for his Age Curve Report entitled – Organic Food Market Soaring, Still Plenty of Upside. We believed then and continued to that by 2020 U.S. organic food sales will have reached over $100 billion. In 1997, the figure was only $3.6 billion.