Cities Are Experiencing Incredible Population Growth, Creating New Opportunities
I am amazed at the amount of activity that is present in our largest American cities these days. Many of them are experiencing a new renaissance with new high-rise rental apartments, and a fresh supply of trendy restaurants and bars flooded with young professionals. It’s an amazing transformation to say the least.
My oldest daughter has recently graduated from college, and is prepared to join this pool of young professionals as she enters a new phase in life. Now armed with a degree complete with high academic honors, and a good job, it will be interesting to see how her life will evolve. She has decided, like so many others today, to live in the city and walk to work. She already knows how to cook, as you can imagine coming from a household like ours, and she has years of experience preparing her own meals since she lived off campus three out of her four years of college. It goes without saying that she will have the best-equipped kitchen of anyone her age, but the small spaces that make up a city apartment will force her to have to make choices of what is really worth storing. I imagine she will join friends frequently for meals out on the town after long days at work since the enticing choice of places to eat are limitless in a place like Boston. She has developed the taste for good espresso, as she has learned to appreciate compliments of my Jura automatic espresso machine, but it’s not up for adoption… I have to draw the battle lines somewhere!! Fortunately for her, she has chosen to live in the Italian section of the city, so she can flip a coin to decide where she gets her next caffeine fix.
Now I can see why marketing housewares to Millennials has created demand for new categories, and new ideas on product design. Space saving is going to continue to be an important product attribute, as will be multifunctional products that can be useful in a number of different ways in the kitchen. Food storage will be in high demand since the younger generation is not cooking for a family, leftovers will be frequent, and necessary, to keep the food budget in check. Products that look good on the counter will continue to draw attention since kitchen storage is going to be an ongoing challenge, and may be the deciding factor in purchase decisions. There will be an attraction to products like multi-cookers that make it possible to have a meal hot and ready for eating at the end of a long day at work. The excellent prepared foods available at supermarkets today will also help fill this void. When they do decide to entertain at home, there will be no dining room to seat a dinner party and thus no formal china place setting. Instead, they will opt for buffet style dinners and passed appetizers on attractive serving platters, adding up to a whole new scene for the dining industry to plan around.
As your thinking about transforming your product mix to include products that will attract the Millennial buyer, especially if your retail location is in and around the city, keep in mind that it’s a whole new way of life that presents new opportunities.