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P is another letter to add to the generation segmentation
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P is another letter to add to the generation segmentation

Have you ever heard of the Generation P? The “P” stands for Perennial Shoppers. It is the segment comprising those aged 50-64. These consumers are digitally savvy, experimental and willing to spend more for quality. And thanks to research from IGD, we have learned that this significant group of shoppers is set to drive the international grocery sector up by an incremental $116bn over the next couple of years, creating a $1,460bn opportunity by 2022. So, it seems that Generation P presents a key opportunity for international grocery retail. 

Simon Wainwright, Director of Global Insight at IGD, commentedThis research shows how significant Perennials are to global grocery. They are an engaged group of shoppers who are accessible when approached in the right way. Competition is already fierce between retailers looking to find new ways to attract shoppers and COVID-19 has made it hard to chart the future. Having a clear focus on your shoppers and knowing how best to reach them will be crucial to success. That’s why the time is right to focus on this often-overlooked group.”

Perennials have embedded digital and online behaviors which they will carry forward and continue to develop into later life. However, this is a generation that doesn’t go digital purely for the sake of going digital – adoption of new technologies for them is driven by their proven practical benefits, and these have to outweigh those of established interactions and processes, such as traditional ‘analogue’ store-based shopping.

Perennial shoppers show aspects of being habitual both in how they shop and in having an affinity for products that are familiar to them. In cases where they have grown up with products this affinity clearly can go back decades. However, it is clear that they also continue to evolve in terms of their tastes and choices, showing an ongoing willingness to trial new and different products as well as pragmatic considerations such as balancing quality with value for money.


What characterizes Generation P at an international* level

  • Are increasingly engaged online grocery shoppers. Over half (56%) of Generation P shop online for food sometimes, with a third (33%) predicting they will do more in the future
  • Have an affinity with brands that they have grown up with, but also hold private label products in the same high regard. While 67% of these shoppers buy particular brands because they have grown up with them, the same number (68%) indicate that they are also very satisfied with the quality of own-label products, with 58% trusting them as much as brands
  • Value convenience and quality over price. A significant 75% of 50-64-year-olds say they are sometimes tempted to spend more on better quality products, and 56% will sometimes spend more on products because they are easier to prepare and cook
  • Would like to select products with specific ethical or environmental credentials but tend to prioritise other factors in their purchasing decisionsLooking into the future, over half of Generation P (54%) indicate that issues around the environment will take on greater importance for them, however 49% admit they will always prioritise factors such as quality and price


*average % calculated across UK, Singapore and USA shopper surveys.


Some regional differences 

Obviously, there are some regional differences due to contrasting social, economic, cultural and even geographical conditions and characteristics found in each country. Let’s have a quick overview at three key markets highlighted in the IGD survey: UK, Singapore and the USA

United Kingdom

In the UK, Perennials are

  • The most likely to buy new and different food and grocery products – 42% vs. 34% of Singaporean shoppers and 36% of USA shoppers
  • The most likely to cook from scratch – 69% vs. 63% of USA shoppers and 58% of Singaporean shoppers
  • The least likely to buy prepared foods or eat out – 15% vs 23% of USA shoppers and 25% of Singaporean shoppers
  • The most likely to prioritise specific ethical and environmental factors in their shopping such as animal welfare (61% vs. 50% in US and 37% in Singapore) and reducing the amount of packaging (53% vs. 39% in USA and 26% in Singapore)
  • The most likely to check out offers in store and buy on impulse - 40% vs. 31% in the US and 28% in Singapore
  • The least likely to plan their shopping trip – 39% vs 55% in USA and 55% in Singapore


In Singapore, Perennials are:

  • More likely to have shopped online for their food and groceries – 72% vs. 55% of UK shoppers and 44% of US shoppers
  • Most interested in new and relevant technology – 48% vs. 39% of UK shoppers and 46% of US shoppers
  • Most engaged with social media – 99% vs. 94% of UK shoppers and 86% of US shoppers
  • The users of the widest range of social media platforms (including 90% usage of WhatsApp contrasting starkly with 7% in the US where the platform is largely unknown).

United States of America

In the US, Perennials are 

  • More likely to buy familiar products than try new things – 49% vs. 32% of UK shoppers
  • The most confident of identifying good value in food and grocery products – 79% vs 64% of Singaporean shoppers
  • The most likely to do a big weekly shop (75% vs 57% of Singaporean shoppers) and least likely to shop on a daily basis (17% vs 32% of Singaporean shoppers.
  • The least likely to shop for food and groceries online with only 44% ever having shopped through the channel.



For more info or to get the full report: retailanalysis.igd.com/trends/retail-trends/perennial-shoppers

PerennialsMarket DataGeneration P