Millennials choose big brands over local grocery products, finds IRI research

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When it comes to purchasing groceries, 18 to 24-year-old shoppers would rather fill their cupboards with big brand names that are perceived as cool and more innovative, leaving local brands on the shelves, finds the latest European Shopper Survey by IRI.

While there is an increasing demand for local or national manufactured products across the region, the latest IRI survey identifies an underlying contrast when segmenting shoppers by age.

Personal and beauty care products were a particular favourite with 65 percent of young millennials compared to just 9 percent opting for local products, the survey reveals.

“Big brands are alive and well among younger shoppers throughout Europe. Those that are using digital technology to reach their target audience resonate well with this younger, globally connected generation,” commented Olly Abotorabi, senior regional insights manager at IRI.

IRI’s survey also reveals that 66 percent of young millennials use the internet to research information about new products compared to 45 percent of over 34s.

YouTube is a consistently popular source of information with 24 percent opting for this channel compared to 18 percent of millennials and 11 percent of over 34s. Social media, blogs, apps, forums and reviews were also popular with 18 to 34-year-olds when searching for information about store promotions and specific product ratings.

The survey sample included over 3,300 consumers from seven European countries.

Shoppers have shown a much stronger connection with locally produced fresh food, with 29 percent preferring local national brands. This represents the highest preference across all five grocery categories, while packaged foods (14%) shows the most promise for future geocentric purchasing for local brands.

Across all age groups, shoppers’ top 3 future expectations for brick and mortar superstores, convenience stores and discounters showcase a clear consensus on delivering products with less plastic packaging (43%), more local brands in-store (43%) and higher product quality (38%).