Quality drives Millennial food shopping, and they are willing to pay more for it, according to a new Whole Foods Market survey. Eighty percent of Millennials value quality when it comes to food shopping, and nearly 70% are willing to spend more money on high-quality foods. The survey, which was conducted by YouGov for the retailer, polled 1,006 Americans between the ages of 22 and 37 online.
Transparency, responsible sourcing
Another trend that emerged from the data is more informed purchasing decisions. A majority of Millennials want to know where their food comes from and how it is sourced. Transparency in food sourcing is important to more than 65% of Millennials, particularly for fresh meat and seafood. More than half will pay more for products that have adopted animal welfare standards and prefer to buy those responsibly sourced.
Food labeling and ingredient transparency are also key factors in Millennials’ choices: Compared to five years ago, nearly 70% read labels more closely. More than 60% are more concerned about additives and growth hormones. And half buy more organic products than they did five years ago.
“We’re always striving to better understand our customers’ passions when it comes to food,” says Sonya Gafsi Oblisk, Whole Foods Market’s chief marketing officer. “Millennials don’t settle for just any food in their shopping carts, and neither do we. The stories of how food is produced and grown matter to them—and to us. That is why we ban more than a hundred ingredients in the food we sell. Going beyond the USDA requirements, we prohibit antibiotics and added hormones for all meats in our meat department, and we only sell sustainable wild-caught or responsibly farmed seafood. Our standards drive the work we do and if products don’t meet our standards, we don’t sell.”
Adventure, special diets, environmental concerns
Nearly seven in 10 Millennials spent more on food than on travel in the past year. A majority surveyed considered themselves to be “adventurous” eaters, and more than 60% make an effort to cook new dishes.
More than six out of 10 Millennials try to eat healthy daily. Plant-based and unprocessed foods are becoming more popular, with 63% trying to incorporate them into their diets.
Over the past year, nearly half have tried a special diet, such as Keto and dairy-free. Fifty-two percent restrict ingredients due to health reasons. More than half found maintaining an alternative diet inconvenient enough to be willing to pay more for convenient, ready-made meals that are healthy and high-quality.
Sixty percent are aware of the implications their food choices have on the environment. About half actively seek food and beverages made of less packaging and plastic.