Richard Cope
Richard is a Senior Trends Consultant, bringing the latest consumer trends to Mintel clients through bespoke presentations and represents Mintel at global conferences.

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.