There is a contrast between how the Baby Boomer generation and Gen Z spends on non-essential items, according to news and analysis company PYMNTS.
The latest report draws from an April survey of more than 2,000 U.S. consumers, revealing that older consumers are still looking for ways to find deals when shopping for groceries in the face of inflation, whereas most younger shoppers continue to splurge on the extra items they want.
Decreasing spend on nonessential grocery items was 59% of Baby Boomers and seniors and 61% of Gen X consumers. However, less than half of Gen Z grocery shoppers reported doing the same at 41%.
As the rate of inflation continues to go down, consumers are less concerned about price increases, Barbara Connors, vice president of strategy and acceleration at 84.51°, Kroger’s retail data science, insights, and media company, told PYMNTS. Shoppers have now started buying their favorite non-essential items again after cutting back for some time when inflation was at its peak.
“Cutting back on non-essential items is the one top inflationary behavior that we’ve seen on this slow, steady decline as we’ve seen inflation cool,” Connors said. “We see that categories around impulse and indulgence are areas where customers can start to add them back into their basket again because they’ve got a little more of that disposable income available for their groceries.”
Along the same lines, online shopping also shows some stark contrast. According to the Q1 2023 Consumer Trends Report from e-commerce platform Jungle Scout:
- Millennials were more worried about their finances than respondents from any other generation, and are nearly twice as likely to have an unstable household income compared to surveyed Baby Boomers
- Baby Boomer respondents are 78% more likely than Gen Z respondents to purchase items on sale and are more likely than any other generation to use credit cards with money-saving perks
- 56% of Gen X respondents and 43% of surveyed Millennials are cutting back on fun/impulse purchases to save money, compared to only 37% of Gen Z respondents
Still, the good news for grocery retailers is that overall trips to the store increased substantially in April, up 2.6% versus a year ago.