Millennials Are Embracing a New Kind of Grocery Store

by Daniel Barna

With busy millennials on constant lookout for fresh ways to expedite how they receive their meals, a new restaurant–grocery store hybrid has emerged, called—you guessed it—the "grocerant." A report by the industry research firm NDP Group determined that "grocerants"—which are basically grocery stores with a cornucopia of high-quality, prepared foods on offer for consumption both inside and outside the establishment—are performing.

"Restaurant-quality and fresh food, chef-driven menus, and in-store experiences have given rise to the grocerant and inspiration to millennials to visit and spend," NDP wrote in its report. Perhaps the ultimate example of this new wave of shopping experiences is 365 by Whole Foods, the grocery chain's brand-new millennial offshoot, which opened its first location in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Silver Lake just last month.

Along with prepared foods for take-away, these establishments also offer in-store dining, which combined have grown almost 30% since 2008. The report also notes that this paradigm shift has as much to do with convenience as it does with our increasing desire for healthy options with high quality and freshness—or in other words, restaurant food.

"Many grocers now offer restaurant-quality food at a lower cost than full-service or some fast-casual restaurants," the report also notes. The demand for "grocerants" shows no signs of slowing down, either. No fewer than 10 more 365 by Whole Foods stores are expected to open by 2017, while Mario Batali's Italian food emporium Eataly continues its global expansion at a breakneck speed.

With a deluge of food delivery apps making grocery stores less appealing for millennials, "grocerants" might get that desirable demographic back in the aisles. "Give the millennials what they want fresh, healthier fare and a decent price," said David Portalatin of the NDP Group, "and they will come."

Cook your groceries on this La Cornue CornuFé Stove, and let us know you're excited about the emergence of grocerants.

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