Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and Target are winning millennial loyalty. Millennials now have 21 percent of discretionary consumer purchasing power, which is equal to $1.3 trillion a year. ( Photo/File)

Millennials even influence how you grocery shop

The generation born between 1977 and 2000, or "millenials," are often portrayed as a group of lazy and entitled Facebookers and Instagrammers.

But they're growing up and getting powerful - even in your grocery store.

There are more than 80 million millennials, making their generation larger than both Baby Boomers and Generation X.

Forty million of them are already parents, with 9,000 moms giving birth on a daily basis.

Millennials now have 21 percent of discretionary consumer purchasing power, which is equal to $1.3 trillion a year.

They have major influence on trends in several different marketplaces, but perhaps most notably, the generation has sway over the shelves in America's grocery stores.

It's created a battle between the nation's biggest grocery chains for a share of the millennial dollar.

Jeff Fromm, from and author of "Marketing to Millennials" says there are early leaders emerging in the fight for their dollars.

"We've never seen this kind of generation have an influence on other generations. You're looking at a category that was successfully interrupted by two major players - Target and Whole Foods."

He says Target disrupted the model for "big box" stores, while Whole Foods changed the landscape for specialty and premium food buyers.

The misunderstood group of young Americans has the ability to influence not only each other, but older demographics of consumers.

"I just think that people have a lot of myths about millennials that are not grounded in reality. This is the first generation that's not just willing to pay for quality, but influencing the perceptions of quality among a broader audience."

He says their influence, in part comes from social media - but it also comes from who they are generationally.

Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and Target are winning millennial loyalty, but Fromm says most grocery retailers feel optimistic they can revive their brand. It will be a struggle, but even chains struggling with identity, like Safeway, can reassert themselves as market forces.

What it takes is reinforcing two simple messages: meaningfulness, and uniqueness.

Fromm says all the major retailers lagging behind have a chance to regain market share, except one: 7/11.'s Alyssa Kleven contributed to this report.

Zak Burns, Morning News Producer
Zak hails from Portland where he was a producer and talk show host for KXL. Before that Zak was at KSL in Salt Lake City.
Top Stories

  • Trial Beginning
    Twelve Seattle police officers will begin using new body-worn cameras next week

  • Week in Photos
    Penguins, cheetahs and Santa make it in this week's photos
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.