Younger Consumers 'Under Index' In UK Convenience Channel, Study Finds

By Steve Wynne-Jones
Share this article
Younger Consumers 'Under Index' In UK Convenience Channel, Study Finds

While Generation Z and Millennials are being touted as the next big consumer wave, the average age of the typical convenience store shopper is on the rise in the UK, according to a study by HIM & MCA Insight.

The HIM UK Convenience Report 2019 found that the average age of UK convenience shoppers is now 48, while the share of shoppers using the channel aged 34 or younger has dropped by two percentage points, to 28%.

Impulse Purchases

According to the report, the decline in younger shoppers using the channel has had a knock on effect on the number of impulse purchases – 13% of shoppers made an impulse purchase this year, compared to 17% of shoppers in 2018.

The report examines factors that younger shoppers deem important; for example, 18-24 year olds are 46% more likely to buy a 'meal deal', compared to the average, while 16% of Generation Z shoppers and 23% of Millennials are currently adhering to a high protein diet, compared to 6% of 45 to 54 year olds.

Shopper Of The Future

“It may be cliché, but younger consumers are the shopper of the future, yet they under index in the convenience channel," commented Blonnie Walsh, senior insight manager at HIM & MCA Insight. "Retailers need the support of wholesalers and suppliers to understand the needs of younger shoppers and the best ways of engaging them better."


Walsh added that while food-to-go has been a focus area of the convenience channel for some time, a rise in specialist food-to-go retailers is eating away at the convenience channel's share of the market.

"In general, younger shoppers behave differently to older generations and retailers need to adapt their approach in order to cater for both. Speed and ease of shop are more important to younger shoppers than older shoppers," she said.

The research was conducted using data from HIM’s Convenience Tracking Programme 2019 (more than 20,000 face-to-face interviews across England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland), HIM Omnichannel Tracker (feedback from a nationally representative sample of 1,000 UK adults) and MCA Operator Data Index (comprehensive data on leading UK convenience operators, including rankings, outlet numbers and estimated sales).

Increased Transparency

Elsewhere, a separate study by Futerra and the Consumer Foods Forum recently found that Generation Z consumers are more likely to demand increased honesty and transparency from brands.


Just 42% of Generation Z believe that brands care about providing honest information (compared to 66% of millennials), according to the study.

© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

Get the week's top grocery retail news

The most important stories from European grocery retail direct to your inbox every Thursday

Processing your request...

Thanks! please check your email to confirm your subscription.

By signing up you are agreeing to our terms & conditions and privacy policy. You can unsubscribe at any time.