Earlier, I came upon this post on NPR’s The Salt. It oh-so-briefly discusses the grocery shopping habits of Boomers versus Millennials, concluding that the latter group’s habits 1) are kinda random; and 2) don’t bode well for traditional grocery stores.
Why do I post this link when you could easily access it via NPR? Because I want to make a few comments, of course! As a Millennial,* I can confirm the post’s central argument. I, like many kids I know, am hella disloyal to grocery stores. I frequent Safeway because it’s the closest grocer to my house, but if I had a choice I’d avoid it altogether. (Safeway, take note: your look-and-feel is awful.) Often, I buy produce from Casa Lucas, a small, independently run grocery store, and I pick up candy and other sundries from package stores. On the rare occasion that I make it to Target, I’m sure to stock up on dry goods: pastas, canned beans, and CHIPS(!)
Alright, then: I’ve provided enough examples to verify my scattershot shopping habits.
More interesting, perhaps, is a consideration of why my [our?] habits are as they are. Why do I venture to four different stores when I could do a week’s shopping in one fell swoop of a trip? My answer: it’s a blend of cheapness and convenience.
First up: cheapness! I’m always looking to save a buck (when possible) so said buck can be spent on something shiny & exciting. MAC lipsticks: shiny & exciting. Garbanzos: not so much. If I had my way, I’d shop at Whole Foods all the time, tossing triple-creme brie and figs and prosciutto into my basket, all willy-nilly like, but were I to do that I’d go broke in approximately five days.
Because I am not a lady of fortune, I shop at Whole-Foods alternatives: Trader Joe’s and Safeway. I’m not claiming these stores are on par with WF; they are simply alternatives.
In seeming contraction to my frugality, I also value convenience w/r/t grocery shopping. If I’m tired after work — and, let’s face it: I almost always am — and I need summer squash, there’s no way in hell I’m traveling to Trader Joe’s. I’ll swing by the Safeway at 16th because it’s already on my way home. If I’m craving a candy bar late in the evening, ain’t no way I’m going to schlep to a proper grocer — I’m going to the corner store.
Bottom line: I’m not brand loyal. My friends, if I may speak for them, are not brand loyal, at least when it comes to food shoppes. Frequenting one grocery store seems odd and antiquated, but maybe that’s just my Millennial brain/values system at work? Maybe it’s the product of my geography? Regardless, here are some truths: I’m easily lured by cheese sales, I’m drawn in by grocery stores as near as possible to mine home, and someday — mark my words — I’ll do all my grocery shopping at Whole Foods.
*At least according to Wikipedia, be-all/end-all source of knowledge.