Are Veggies Key To Gaining Young Customers?
Millennials are our nation’s youngest adults with serious buying power, and they could be your best customers.
Civic-minded, cause-oriented, solution-focused, entrepreneurial, ambitious, idealistic do’ers. These are all words commonly used to describe your new customer, the Millennial generation, adults ages 18 to 34, who are also called Generation Y and “Echo Boomers.”
The children of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, Millennials are the last generation born in the 20th century. They’ve grown up digital and they’re fully plugged in. They have close relationships with their parents and many still live at home after completing their educations, searching for jobs and returning for advanced degrees and consequently, even deeper student loan debt. The recession has hit this generation hard, teaching them some real-life lessons that they’re not going to make 60K out of the gate.
But from a lack of economic security has sprung creativity and entrepreneurial jobs. More members of Generation Y are starting businesses than earlier generations. A recent report states there are 80,000 bartenders in America with bachelor’s degrees, a job that provides decent money while allowing young adults to further their education and pursue creative interests. Meanwhile, a 2012 report by the Kauffman Foundation, reported that 29.4% of entrepreneurs were 20 to 34 years old, and roughly 160,000 start-ups a month were led by Millennials in 2011.
MONEY + CONSCIENCE = PERFECT CUSTOMER
Millennials like getting their hands dirty and working outside. They are concerned about the environment, and they value local business and enjoy cooking and experimenting with new foods. And despite their high student loan debts and disproportionate earnings, their values make Millennials more likely to spend more money on food (read: produce) that has been grown locally and sustainably by a small grower or community farm than from traditional grocery chains. Or, they’ll be creative and use the space they have to grow their own. Long story short, they’re your ideal customer.
HEALTHY FOOD IS MORE AFFORDABLE
However, this new USDA study calculates food costs on price-per-calorie, as well as price-per-edible-weight (calculated price based on weight of food prepared) and price-per-average-amount (how much people actually eat of the food). Foods used in the study came from a database of more than 4,000 items, that were then sorted into several groups — grains, dairy, fruit, vegetables and proteins, as well as mixed dishes and less healthy items.
Here’s what USDA found:
Let’s not forget the ultimate cost of food: long-term health. Generation Y consumers are realizing that using food as medicine is better for them now and in the long run by preventing illnesses like heart disease, type 2 diabetes and types of cancer.
GET GROWING FOR GEN Y
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