Younger Millennials, born 1990 or later, are outspending older generations in food dollars, according to findings from the latest IRI Consumer Connect survey. Younger millennials’ edible dollar sales grew by 21.5 percent for March compared to a year ago, while edible dollar sales for retirees and seniors were down by 3.8 percent in the same period. Older cohorts are more likely to buy food and beverage brands that are on sale or with a coupon, but 44 percent of retirees and seniors regularly purchase premium-quality food and beverage products compared to 38 percent of younger millennials.
Meanwhile, consumer interest in sustainable and plant-based products continues to grow. Nearly six in 10 consumers are interested in eating less meat, and nearly eight in 10 millennials eat meat alternatives. Also, the rate of consumer acceptance of plant-centric products across the store is increasing rapidly, according to IRI, growing from just a handful of categories in 2014 to more than 90 categories, totaling more than $13 billion in cumulative sales in 2018. Products including facial care and cosmetics are on the path toward reaching peak household penetration in addition to more obvious products, such as meat alternatives and cheese.