I have seen a lot of trends come and go in my life, from hairstyles to fashion to entertainment preferences. I’ve even seen a huge shift in eating trends, too, but what I never imagined we’d see because of that trend are US consumers spending more on food at restaurants/bars than at grocery stores each month. The new eating trends are now changing everything about grocery shopping. If this trend, fueled by millennials, continues, we could see the end of the supermarket as we know it. Here’s why:
People have more money: As the economy has rebounded, so have paycheck amounts. When people have more disposable income, we see an increase in convenience spending such as dining out.
Households are smaller: Millennials aren’t having kids as early as previous generations. And when there are fewer mouths to feed, your eating habits can be more flexible. Less stocking up and more daily food purchases. Smaller households also equate to more expendable income.
Eating habits have changed: There’s a shift to mindful eating, clean eating, veganism, raw and fermented food diets, and desires to eat local. Many restaurants have capitalized on that shift and have adapted their menus around those eating habits. That makes people more likely to run out and get the foods they prefer already prepared for them.
Shoppers have more options: In 2005, 2/3rds of Americans spent their entire weekly food budget at a supermarket. Now that percentage is less than half. People are now using those dollars at health food stores, farmers’ markets, bulk food stores, and online.
The art of cooking is dying: This makes me terribly sad, but I have seen it to be true! People no longer cook food from scratch on a regular basis. Some say convenience is the reason, but many simply don’t know how. Older generations are not passing on their cooking talents and recipes, so the younger generations tend to go for prepacked, easily prepped or done-for-you meals.
All of this combined equates to fewer weekly, stuff-your-cart shopping trips, and that, in turn, is causing supermarket profits to plummet.
Do you see this in your life? Do you hit up the supermarket as often as your parents? Do you eat out more than you did growing up? Do you think we’ll see major shifts in grocery stores in an effort to accommodate these trends?
Let me know what you think!
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