The advent and uptake of mobile connectivity dovetailed with economic downturn, creating a generation of shoppers making live price comparisons in store on their devices. For Millennials though, this number-crunching goes further, manifested in a marked inclination towards product analysis. Mintel’s Health Lifestyles 2013 report shows 16-24s to be far more likely than average to have looked up nutritional information on food ingredients (39% compared with 34%) and this extends to their use of calorie counting apps (23% compared with 13%) and wearable health-tracking devices (11% compared with 5%).

And yet assumptions about the love of all things digital can be over-egged, with Mintel’s Millennials data revealing that 60% of 16-34s “prefer reading hard/print copies of books, newspapers, magazines”, compared with just 26% that “prefer reading e-books and online newspapers, magazines”. A similar picture emerges when we focus on online retail – just 38% say they “prefer to shop online rather than in stores” and the overall proportions who have shopped online in the past 3 months straddle the average figure of 83%.

23% of 16-24s use calorie counting apps compared to the average of 13%

Where Millennials do exhibit distinctive online shopping behaviour is in their desire to enjoy the instant gratification of the digital experience in real world retail. This is why 25-34s are twice as likely to have collected online grocery orders from a drive-thru collection point and why 16-24s are more likely to consider paying a higher delivery charge for same-day delivery of groceries (46% versus 34% on average) and why 25-34s are more interested in options for picking up fashion items purchased online (62% versus 50% on average).

When it comes to buying drivers, Millennials prioritise ‘high quality’ over ‘inexpensive’ across clothes, electronics and make-up. The former quality is consistently prioritised by 30-40% of consumers, with cost concerns more likely to be in the 20-30% zone, suggesting that some of that pragmatic conservatism we began talking about is here manifested in a desire for good value in the form of that reassuring concept of “durability”.

To find out more on Mintel’s Lifestyles of Millennials UK 2014 report, click here – and for more information on how Mintel can identify global consumer trends to help your business, click here.

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