Millennials Pose Challenge and Opportunity to Restaurants,

Millennials Pose Challenge and Opportunity to Restaurants, Apparel
Retailers, Malls 
U.S. Millennials Outspend Older Generations on Away-From-Home Food
and Fashion; They Love to Dine and Shop in Groups but Winning Them
Over Requires Carefully Tailored Offerings, BCG Research Finds 
BOSTON, MA -- (Marketwire) -- 11/08/12 --  Restaurants, apparel
retailers, and shopping malls should provide more tailored offerings
to capture the hearts and wallets of the Millennial Generation, also
known as Generation Y, according to new research by The Boston
Consulting Group (BCG).  
BCG's Center for Consumer and Customer Insight, in partnership with
Service Management Group (SMG) and Barkley, surveyed 4,000 U.S.
Millennials (defined as those 16 to 34 years old) and 1,000
non-Millennials (ages 35 to 74) to find out how their attitudes and
spending habits differ. The results appear in a new article
Millennial Passions: Food, Fashion, and Friends, which is available
According to the survey, U.S. Millennials love to spend on
away-from-home food and fashion. They dine and shop in groups; crave
exciting, exotic dining experiences and experiential, lifestyle
shopping environments; want to share their experiences with friends;
and exert a strong influence over others -- family, friends, and even
total strangers -- thanks to their intense use of social media.  
Their attitudes, needs, and preferences are often quite different
from those of non-Millennials as well as those of one another, so
restaurants, apparel chains and malls need to develop more tailored
offerings to attract them, the survey found. Below are more detailed
Restaurants Are High on Millennials' Spending List 
Restaurant meals and drinks are high on the list of what Millennials
like to spend their money on -- ranking above consumer electronics,
apparel, footwear, beauty and cosmetic products, and accessories.  
They eat out more often than non-Millennials (3.4 versus 2.8 times
per week), regardless of their income or household composition, and
they prefer fast, fast-casual, takeout, Asian, exotic, and organic
foods more than non-Millennials do. They're more likely to get food
to go than to dine at the restaurant -- particularly at breakfast.
Millennials spend slightly more than no
n-Millennials on average;
indeed, a subgroup spends considerably more.  
Millennials are much more likely to eat out with friends and
coworkers (reported by 65 percent of Millennials compared with 43
percent of non-Millennials). They want to feel that they are
"exploring something new" and that they can "easily catch up with
Millennials visit mainstream casual restaurants but prefer
fast-casual options such as Panera Bread, Chipotle Mexican Grill, and
Pei Wei Asian Diner. "Regardless of price point, Millennials expect a
great dining experience," said Chris Egan, the chief operating
officer at SMG and a coauthor of the report. "Affordable fast-casual
and fast food restaurants with locally sourced goods, exotic flavors,
and service levels historically reserved for higher-quality
restaurants will most likely garner a disproportionate share of
Millennial dining spending."  
Shopping for Clothing -- in Groups -- Is a Favorite Millennial
Forty-seven percent of Millennial women reported shopping more than
twice a month, compared with 36 percent of non-Millennial women. This
difference in shopping frequency was even more striking among men (38
percent for Millennial men versus 10 percent for non-Millennial men).
Millennial men spend twice as much on apparel per year as
non-Millennial men; Millennial women outspend non-Millennial women by
a third.  
Fashion magazine articles and editorials, retailer websites, apparel
brand websites and social media, fashion blogs, and store associates
are top sources of trusted information on trends, products, and
brands for Millennials. 
As with dining-out preferences, Millennials tend to shop in groups
and consider the opinions of others more than non-Millennials.  
Millennials and non-Millennials prefer different apparel brands.
Among the Millennial favorites: for women, Old Navy, Forever 21,
Target private brands, Express, Aeropostale, Hollister, and H&M; for
men, Nike and adidas. "Dual gender" favorites are Gap, American Eagle
Outfitters, and Abercrombie & Fitch. Levi's, a non-Millennial
favorite, is popular among Millennials, but less so. 
Millennials prefer an experiential, lifestyle environment (such as
that offered by Hollister or Abercrombie & Fitch), like to receive
help and approval from fashion consultants rather than just basic
sales assistance, and value store environmental factors more than
their non-Millennial counterparts.  
Retailers, Malls, and Restaurants Can Win Over Millennials  
To win over Millennial consumers, the article says, retailers and
shopping malls will need to consider several factors. They should
emphasize group-shopping experiences, create in-store events and
social forums, use mobile apps and social media, integrate their
in-store and online offerings so that Millennials can compare prices
on their smartphones or return their online purchases in stores, and
in general make shopping fun, fast, and easy. Malls will want to
ensure that they have the right mix of stores and restaurants to
drive traffic.  
For restaurants, the keys to success will include faster service
(along with ready-to-eat and to-go options), fast-casual formats, and
happy-hour, late-night, and bar experiences. Technology should again
play a central role -- options such as online reservations and
self-ordering systems will appeal to Millennials. And social media
will matter to restaurants as well. Finally, menus themselves should
include unusual, exotic, organic, or local ingredients, including
"crowd sourced" options. 
To stay relevant to Millennials over the next three to eight years
and retain their popularity with the succeeding generation that will
begin to emerge in stores and online in this time frame, stores and
brands that target teens and young adults must reinvent themselves.  
"For brands that appeal more to non-Millennials, as well as luxury
and accessible-luxury brands and multibrand, multicategory formats
like department stores, the challenge is fundamentally different: how
to introduce their goods and brands to Millennials at the appropriate
life stage and with authentic and relevant products," Christine
Barton, a partner at BCG and lead author of the article, said. "And,
importantly, when to do so, given that Millennials are not their core
customers today, but will be in ten years." 
To succeed, all companies must use language, marketing messages,
causes, and spokespersons that relate to members of this generation. 
Millennials' Impact Will Be Significant -- and Not Just on Their
Millennials have a strong influence on each other -- they value
experts but have redefined "expert" to mean someone with firsthand
experience, often a friend or peer, not a critic or academic.
"Millennials' impact will extend beyond generational lines," said
Jeff Fromm, an executive vice president at Barkley and a coauthor of
the report. Millennial brand preferences and buying patterns are
early indicators of trends among non-Millennial consumers.
Millennials live their lives on social media. Their attitudes spread
quickly among their peers, then reach across generational lines. For
example, non-Millennials report influencing the spending and product
and brand preferences of spouses and kids; by comparison, Millennials 
perceive their influence to be over parents, siblings, grandparents,
classmates, coworkers, roommates, and even complete strangers. 
"Interestingly," Barton said, "Millennials report more likelihood to
broadcast negative experiences or to look for 'knockout' criteria on
a brand or product online compared, for example, with non-Millennial
women, who report willingness to post positive as well as negative
reviews and stories."  
Research on Millennials can begin close to home. "Most retailers and
restaurants already have access to a powerful tool: the Millennials
on their own staff, who can be a valuable source of advocacy,
insights and new ideas," Barton said. "Quick research close to home
can be the key to winning over the Millennial generation."  
To arrange an interview with one of the authors, please contact
Alexandra Corriveau at +1 212 446 3261 or  
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with support from the Global Advantage practice in emerging markets.
For more information, please visit BCG - Center for Consumer and
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 Barkley believes that creativity and innovation can
change the world. As the nation's largest employee-owned advertising
agency, they are fiercely independent and committed to adding GOOD.
Barkley's goal is to help build the biggest future possible for their
clients. They provide fully integrated advertising services as well
as specialized services through four partner companies: Crossroads,
PR and Cause Marketing; Blacktop, Branding and Design; Barkley REI,
Interactive Marketing; and Grenadier, Strategic and Creative. For
more information, please visit 
About Service Management Group
 SMG helps its clients drive business
results by improving customer loyalty and employee engagement. SMG
has a rich history in innovation, providing proprietary
data-collection, reporting, and insight tools for front-line and
executive levels. Each year, SMG collects and evaluates over 70
million surveys in 65 countries and 29 languages for more than 225
brands. To request more information about SMG, email Joe Sciara at or call 816-448-4500. 
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