By RDBA Executive Director, Annette Maggi, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
During a recent symposium in Minneapolis, NPD staff shared insights on today's consumers, and how their habits impact the food industry. Key insights and implications for the work of retail dietitians are highlighted here.
Insight: Spending is Shifting. People are buying fewer consumable items and are investing in making memories, shifting their spending to experiences. At the same time, they have less money for retail purchases as their committed spending has increased. While committed spend has always included items like mortgages, utilities, groceries, and child care, today it has expanded to include items such as Costco and Stitch Fix memberships, meal kit and Netflix subscriptions, and safety measures like Lifelock.
Insight: Life Stage is Different than Age. Based on media headlines and trends, it's easy to believe that Millennials eat out more often than any other generation. In reality, restaurant consumption peaks during the late 20s and early 30s, and then starts to lessen. While Millennials eat out 240 times a year on average, this is lower than Baby Boomers, who ate out 260 times a year when they were the age of today's Millennials.
Insight: Today's Workforce is Restructuring. New technology and shifting priorities are driving the rise of an "on demand" work force. For example, Uber has more than 900,000 drivers in the US, Etsy has 1.2 million artists, and Airbnb offers 600,000 locations in this country. This change is driving fluidity in food and beverages. Not only has the time of lunch changed, but also what constitutes lunch has evolved.