Millennials are thinking differently about their health than older generations, and the shift suggests some interesting potential opportunities for retailers, according to Barrington, Ill.-based consultancy Brick Meets Click. 

The new generation has shifted emphasis away from “who will make me healthy” to “what will make me healthy.” Since Millennials are depending less on doctors and more on themselves to stay healthy, shopping for health is important to them.

Here are three important things to keep in mind when targeting this demographic:

  1. They are willing to pay more for products with health-enhancing attributes. They also consume a lot of information online about health, but they could use reassurance that they’re doing the right thing since there’s so much of it and it can be contradictory and hard to decipher.
  2. Find ways to increase access to in-store dieticians who can provide guidance and assurance on what they can do to stay healthy. This means encouraging the dieticians to reach out to more people through store tours and to the community through “lunch and learns.”
  3. Make it quicker and easier for millennials (and other customers) to find popular “good for you products” by enhancing navigational signage and shelf sets to showcase these popular products.

Seeing the “whole human being”

Retailers and their supplier partners need to paint a more complete picture of their consumers if they want to tap into the demand for health and wellness products that fit their particular needs.

“We believe companies will start to see the whole human being, not a 2D version,” said Raj Shroff, principal of Columbus, Ohio-based PINE Strategy & Design. “If they do that, they’re a dinosaur. What happened during COVID, companies had to adjust to see the whole person, because, for example, people were working at home and we all saw each other at home.”

Grocery, he said, has to do something similar. Going forward, one way to do that could be tapping into the Metaverse. If retailers get access to a virtual version of consumers’ kitchens, for example, they can provide a much more specialized list of suggested items tailored to their individual health and wellness needs. When consumers go online, maybe the only products that pop up for them are ones that fit their particular health profile.

Seeing the whole person is more important than ever, since “health” has become more convoluted than ever, with not only a host of specific diets and physical ailments to consider but also with mental health, exercise and sleep on so many more people’s radar, said John Youger, a PINE partner.

“Health feels like it’s no longer easy.”