The Millennials or Gen Y as they are also known are a fascinating audience.
Characterised in the main by nothing other than being born between 1982 and 2004 they represent both challenges and opportunities to marketers.
Earlier this year, the boss of fashion chain Next said it had been hit by a generational shift away from owning ever more “stuff” to spending on memorable experiences such as eating out with friends.
Chief executive Lord Wolfson, who was unveiling the retailer’s first fall in profits for eight years, said the trend — most closely associated with young “Millennial” shoppers — was a major reason why he remained “extremely cautious” about the outlook for the rest of 2017.
In a statement to shareholders Lord Wolfson said latest consumer spending data “shows the growth in spending in pubs, restaurants and entertainment compared to High Street clothing in the fourth quarter of 2016.
We believe that these numbers demonstrate the continuing trend towards spending on experiences away from ‘things’,” — although he added that he expected the switch not to be permanent.
Lord Wolfson pointed to latest figures from Barclaycard revealing that expenditure in restaurants shot up 11 per cent in the last three months of 2016 compared with the previous year, while pubs saw 10 per cent more takings, and entertainment, such as going to the cinema, saw an eight per cent rise.
Over the same period spending on dresses, shirts, trousers and other clothing items dipped 0.3 per cent.
Earlier, Ikea executive Steve Howard had warned that consumers’ obsession with owning goods was on the wane, saying: “In the West we have probably hit peak stuff.”
Their focus on experiences extends significantly into food and diet with an ever-growing focus on body image and health – and they’re fuelling a huge growth in both vegetarians and vegans too. And whilst sales of protein enhanced foods and drinks are at an all-time high the signs are that real food is gaining more traction with ‘fresh is best’ increasing in popularity within this audience.
With buying their own home beyond the reach of many UK Millennials it is no surprise that their focus is shifting from ‘maximising stuff’ to maximising themselves – both physically and mentally.
For more information about how I help my clients launch new products take a look at Food Brand Strategist.
And take a look at BoomBod as an example of my work.
If you’d like more information about my Millennials and Generation Y research or if you’d like to explore how I can help you with your new food product launch, ping me an email so we can schedule a call.
Call: +44 (0) 207 205 2998 or email today for an initial chat.