Monday, March 25, 2024

Gen Z Grocery Shopping More Like Grandpa


There is nothing like starting off a new blog with a quote from William Shakespeare.  Well, here we go, “What’s past is prologue”. We are talking today about Gen Z grocery shopping habits and those of their grandparents, baby boomers. According to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® in his household’s family tree it’s clear the ‘apple did not fall far form the tree’!

So, with the cost of living crisis set to continue and inflation reaching its peak, the UK's leading Out of Home media and infrastructure company Clear Channel has released a new study focusing on consumer shopping behavior in the UK. Based on a study of 2,000 respondents, it offers fascinating insights into the top ways the cost-of-living crisis has affected consumer buying behavior, ways Brits prefer to shop for groceries, key drivers for product selection when shopping for groceries and impulse purchasing trends.

According to Clear Channel’s report, 75% of people have had to change their grocery shopping behavior due to the cost-of-living crisis. More than one in five reported cutting down on essentials.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the report revealed that nearly half of shoppers (45%) are cutting down on luxuries and treats while 38% of people are doing their best to avoid impulse purchases. Other ways of adapting to the cost-of-living crisis include shopping at cheaper supermarkets (37%), swapping usual brands for own labelled goods (35%), and shopping less frequently to avoid overspending (26%). Only 13% of Brits didn’t have to adjust their spending in the wake of the financial insecurity.
Clear Channel’s research also revealed that an immense 96% of Brits prefer to shop in stores than online. Surprisingly 16-24-year-olds behave more like Boomers than Millennials when it comes to grocery shopping behavior, with 59% stating they prefer to shop in person than online - the same preference as their Boomer counterparts.
When it comes to the main reasons why British consumers favor in-store shopping, being able to immediately assess a product’s quality (63%) plays a key role. Immediate availability of the product (53%) and being able to obtain better deals (43%) round out the top three main reasons for shopping in person. Nearly one in three believe they are more likely to discover new products, while 25% of Brits value the in-store customer experience.

Key findings from the survey:
- 96% of Brits shop in stores, with 45% preferring to shop in stores only, 8% online only and 46% shopping both in-store and online.
- Key drivers for product selection are discounts (65%), the cheapest price on the market (37%) and products from a well-established brand (27%).
- One in 10 Brits impulse buys every time they shop.
- Residents in Plymouth, Brighton, Newcastle, London and Liverpool are the most likely to make impulse purchases.
- Food (55%), clothes (29%), drinks (25%), takeaways (24%) and household items (23%) are the top impulse purchase categories in the UK.
- The top impulse purchase categories for men are food (55%), drinks (31%) and takeaways (24%) while for women are food (54%), clothes (35%) and household items (26%).

Ben Hope, Marketing Director at Clear Channel UK, said:
‘’In light of the ongoing economic uncertainty and its effect on consumers, we looked to conduct a study that would help brands to better understand buying behavior. The potential for communicating brand messages through in-store and Out of Home advertising is still as relevant as ever, as shoppers are refusing to compromise on the experience they have by shopping in-store, even if their goal is to spend slightly less. What might surprise many is the trend for the younger 16-24 generation towards the physical in-person experience ‘’.

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a Grocerant ScoreCard, or for product positioning or placement assistance, or call our Grocerant Guru®.  Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: or 253-759-7869

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