A research report from Acosta Sales & Marketing examined the unique shopping habits of the generational demographics and found that Generation X spends more on groceries per month than both baby boomers and millennials with an average of more than $320 a month. This means retailers need to be aware of how Gen Xers relate to the supermarket and its departments because this generation contains the biggest spenders. Generation X appreciates transparency and becomes suspicious and cynical when it senses a sales pitch that’s not sincere and forthright.

In terms of how they interact and live with food in the household, John Miller authored The Generation X Report detailing the generation’s relationship with food. "I was surprised to see how often Gen X men shop and cook," Miller says. "Women, particularly married women, are still doing more cooking and shopping. But men are much more involved in these activities than they used to be.”

Key findings in Miller’s study include:

  • Gen Xers cooked a meal for guests about once a month, on average, and they talked to friends about food or cooking about six times a month.

  • Men and women were equally likely to watch food shows on television, about four times a month.

  • Married women cooked the most—preparing about 12 meals a week, on average. Single women cooked about 10 meals a week, while both married and single men prepared about eight meals a week.

  • About half of Gen Xers said they preferred to buy organic foods at least some of the time, and one in 10 said they are committed to buying organic when it's available.

  • Gen Xers had a low level of understanding about genetically modified foods. On a 10-point index of understanding, the mean score was 3.8.

Appealing to Generation X shoppers means providing the valuable nutritional information they seek in a sincere manner. Don’t try to sell them on brands or too-good-to-be-true deals and offers. Even if the deals are too good to be true, their cynicism will override their belief. Gen Xers now have families with young, adolescent and some teenage children. They work hard. Be real and offer them foodservice options that relieve the stress in their lives rather than cause it.