CHICAGO, July 11, 2012 – At 50 million strong in the U.S. today, millennials, defined as adults aged 18-34, are demonstrating more volatility and showing less fiscal confidence than average shoppers. These views are significantly impacting their purchasing attitudes and behaviors. Understanding these shoppers is critical to CPG and retail success, since millennials are predicted to spend $56 billion on CPG products during the next decade. SymphonyIRI announced these and related findings of its inaugural SymphonyIRI Shopper Sentiment Index™ in the latest Times & Trends research, “Millennial Shoppers: Tapping into the Next Growth Segment.”
This newly released Times & Trends report is based on the findings of SymphonyIRI’s second quarter MarketPulse™ research, the ongoing survey series that studies and analyzes CPG shopper attitudes, perceptions and actions impacted by the economy. MarketPulse also reports on the economy’s impact on shoppers’ personal financial situations, lifestyle and money-saving strategies.
SymphonyIRI designed the new Shopper Sentiment Index to shed new light on purchase behavior in terms of price sensitivity, brand loyalty and changes in spending required to maintain desired lifestyles. With a benchmark score of 100 based on first quarter 2011 information, a Shopper Sentiment Index score of more than 100 reflects consumers that are less price driven, more loyal to favorite brands and more easily have the ability to maintain their desired lifestyle without changes.
“The Shopper Sentiment Index was created as another lens to study shopper behavior,” said Susan Viamari, editor of Times & Trends, SymphonyIRI. “Shoppers of all ages, income levels and demographics continue to evaluate and evolve their shopping rituals based on an economy that shows some signs of strength, but still many ongoing signs of weakness.”
Inaugural findings from the Shopper Sentiment Index reveal that millennial shoppers have demonstrated a more cautious and volatile outlook compared to other age groups during the past 18 months. This reflects the environment in which they live at a critical juncture in their adult lives. For various reasons, millennials tend to head larger-than-average sized households. Meanwhile, they have relatively low levels of household income. They are 11 percent more likely to have incomes of $25,000-$49,000, 14 percent more likely to have incomes of $50,000-$99,000, but 18 percent less likely to earn six figures than other Americans. As an added hardship, the recent recession has hit millennials hard; the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a 2011 unemployment rate for this group of 12 percent, as compared to 9 percent for the general U.S. population. Underemployment, too, is a huge challenge.
Millennials Turn to Self-Reliance
SymphonyIRI’s MarketPulse survey notes that millennials are coping through several money-saving activities. This group is 46 percent more likely to use at-home beauty treatments to save money, and 31 percent more likely to cook from scratch or with limited convenience foods to save money. They are also 18 percent more likely to “self-treat” where possible to avoid spending money on doctor’s visits.
New Media Is the Communication Vehicle of Choice for Millennials
Communication through new media has an outsized impact on millennials. A group that has grown up in the age of digital media and smart devices, this technology-savvy group is the first “always connected” generation. As expected, new media are essential to millennials’ process of learning about CPG products. When making brand decisions. millennials are 262 percent more likely than the average shopper to be influenced by smartphone apps, 247 percent are more likely to be influenced by blogs or social networking sites, and 216 percent are more likely to be influenced by in-store touch screen displays.
“Millennial shoppers remain an important group to consider when creating pricing and marketing plans,” says John McIndoe, senior vice president of marketing, SymphonyIRI. “A nuanced group that behaves much like the savvy, cost-conscious consumers of the recent recession, they are very different in how they interact with CPG brands and in how they seek deals. Understanding the unique characteristics of The Millennial Generation, or any group of shoppers, is essential to building powerful and lasting relationships.”
SymphonyIRI Times & Trends Webinar
SymphonyIRI is offering a free webinar, entitled “Millennial Shoppers: Tapping into the Next Growth Segment,” at 12 p.m. CT on Thursday, July 12. To register for this webinar, hosted by Susan Viamari, editor of Times & Trends, visit: http://www.SymphonyIRI.com/NewsEvents/EventsWebinars/MillennialShoppers/tabid/281/Default.aspx.
About the Report
The June/July Times & Trends Report, “Millennial Shoppers: Tapping into the Next Growth Segment,” is a free report available from SymphonhySymphonyIRI, the world’s leading innovation partner that enables CPG, retail and healthcare companies to create and maximize new opportunities. SymphonyIRI based this month’s report on its second quarter MarketPulse research, a nationally representative survey of 2,000 shoppers conducted quarterly. It also based the report on its new SymphonyIRI Shopper Sentiment Index, developed by the company’s Consumer Insights Group. To download the report, visit: http://www.SymphonyIRI.com/Insights/ArticleDetail/tabid/117/ItemID/1502/View/Details/Default.aspx
SymphonyIRI Group is a global leader in innovative solutions and services for the CPG, retail and healthcare industries. SymphonyIRI uniquely combines powerful market and shopper information, predictive analytics, flexible technology solutions and consulting services to help its clients drive and grow their businesses. For more information, visit: http://www.SymphonyIRI.com.
# # #
Phone: (312) 474-3862
Phone: (312) 474-3675