Discovering the shoppers of tomorrow

USA shoppers will be more ethnically diverse in the coming years, according to a report from Kroger’s
Discovering the shoppers of tomorrow

The shoppers of the future will be older, more ethnically diverse, and more likely to live in a one-person or multigenerational household, according to a new report from the data research arm of Kroger. These and other factors will impact shopping trends in the USA, including what consumers buy and how they make those purchases, according to the report.

Demographic shifts include a rise in the over-65 population, increased Hispanic and Asian populations, and a decline in the Caucasian population. Income inequality will grow, affecting economic growth.

Over the next decade, the diversification of consumer wealth, ethnicity, family dynamics, and many more factors will have a substantial effect on the wants and needs of the average shopper,” the report noted. “Projected demographic shifts and grocery purchase signals provide a starting point to help brands maintain relevance and drive continued growth today and in the future.”

The report predicts the following:

  • People over the age of 65 will outnumber children under 18 by 2034.
  • Over the next decade, the U.S. caucasian population will decline by 7%, while the Hispanic and Asian populations will increase by 12% and 13%, respectively.
  • Income inequality is expected to grow in the coming years, which will put downward pressure on economic growth.
  • Both one-person and multigenerational households will grow.
  • By 2033, the millennial population will peak at 74.9 million.


Gen Z’s income will rise to $33 trillion by 2030 and surpass millennials’ by 2031. This shift will impact what these demographics purchase and those changes are impossible to predict. Generation Z most frequently purchases crackers and miscellaneous baked goods, refrigerated Asian foods, processed cheese, popcorn, and refrigerated coffee creamers. They least frequently purchase organic and cage-free eggs, candles and giftware, seafood with fins, crab seafood, beef sausage, and ground beef assortments.

Convenient and portable snacking options like crackers, baked goods, and popcorn are popular with this on-the-go generation, which could shift as they age,” the report noted.

The report also noted that Gen Z, the youngest generation studied, diverged from the other generations in how they shop for groceries. They are more likely to buy online for pickup and have the highest spending ratio for pickup services. “Gen Z shoppers have the highest spending ratio for buying online for pickup services compared to other generations, underscoring the importance of digital touchpoints for influencing purchase decisions,” the report said.


Millennials most frequently purchase bagged snacks, baked bread, fluid milk products, natural cheese, and bananas. They least frequently purchase dry sauce and gravy made with natural ingredients, South American foods, personal protective equipment (PPE) products, frozen juices made with natural ingredients, and pipe tobacco.


Gen X most frequently purchases bagged snacks, baked breads, fluid milk products, natural cheese, and soft drinks. They least frequently purchase South American foods, dry sauce and gravy, frozen juices made with natural ingredients, kids’ bath products, and outdoor storage and pet products.

Many of the most frequent purchases by millennials mirror those of Gen X shoppers, “suggesting an opportunity for brands to highlight complementary products or additional flavors for bagged snacks, bread and milk,” the report stated. “They also share commonalities in their least purchased categories, pointing to an opportunity for innovation or to diversify product portfolios to better resonate with Gen X and millennials.


Baby boomers most frequently purchase fluid milk products, baked bread, bagged snacks, bananas, and natural cheese. They least frequently purchase cider, frozen meat, and seafood made with natural ingredients, hair care products made with natural ingredients, refrigerated dough made with natural ingredients, and infant care products.


Gen Z shoppers spend 2.6 times more per trip when buying online for pickup, compared to in-store purchases. Baby boomers spend 2.2 times more, while both Gen X and millennials spend approximately 2.4 times more for online pickup orders.

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