20% of millennials to use grocery delivery this Thanksgiving

Two out of 10 U.S. shoppers ages 25 to 34 plan on buying Thanksgiving groceries with a food delivery app as use of mobile tools and services grows among this age group.

Roughly 59 percent of shoppers ages 25 to 34 plan on hosting a Thanksgiving dinner this year and are exploring new shopping options beyond the traditional supermarket, according to a new survey by dunnhumby.

These older millennials are more established in their careers and beginning to host holidays in their own homes as new couples and families, noted the study. They are beginning to create Thanksgiving traditions of their own, and these traditions now include mobile devices and new shopping features.

Twenty-one percent of respondents plan to buy groceries for their holiday meal using a food delivery app (such as Instacart, Shipt and Google Express) while 16 percent say they'll be using an online grocery delivery service (such as Peapod, FreshDirect, Amazon Fresh or BlueApron). This is an incredibly sharp contrast with the outlook for their parents and grandparents, as none of those 55 years old and older reported plans to use either of these types of services, according to the report.

This group is also turning to online resources and social media to find recipes and menu ideas. Nearly half plan to use Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. This age group is also the most likely to use mobile resources such as recipe apps (31 percent versus 16 percent of all Americans) and food blogs (27 percent versus just 13 percent of Americans as a whole).

"Nearly every retailer is hyper-focused on engaging millennials, but very few know what that actually means. These maturing customers are connected and always on, and need to be met with relevant offers, goods and services on the digital platforms they're regularly using," said David Ciancio, senior customer strategist at dunnhumby. "Our findings prove that the traditional grocery shopping trip is a thing of the past—even for Thanksgiving. There are now four primary mind sets around shopping, which are discover, shop, buy and reflect, and retailers need to understand the new expectations and needs customers have for each."

"We are in the midst a generational and attitudinal shift throughout the United States where technology has given rise to the emergence of the new connected customer—not just in regards to Thanksgiving dinner, but for all retail and grocery shopping," said Andy Hill, managing director North America, dunnhumby. "It's absolutely vital for today's retailers to understand both off-line and online behavior through data and customer science in order to create a complete picture of consumer behavior and preferences—including how they shop, source their information, and share experiences with friends and family."

Delivery is a growing trend for many retailers, especially grocers and discounters. Walmart and Target are experimenting with click-and-collect type services and partnering with third parties such as Instacart, Peapod, FreshDirect and even Amazon Fresh for home delivery. The profit model is not yet clear, but as millennials mature and apply their mobile reliance to traditional shopping models, a clearer picture could emerge for retailers building out these businesses. 

For more:
-See this dunnhumby report

Related stories:
The metrics: Making grocery delivery make sense
Online grocery shopping up 29%
H-E-B expands grocery delivery
60% of millennials to visit stores on Thanksgiving Day
Online holiday shoppers are younger, more price-sensitive
 

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