You’ll Never Believe Which Section of the Grocery Store Millennials Are Saving

You probably already know that certain sections of the grocery stores have healthier foods than other. Experts recommend you should generally stick to the outer perimeter where the fresh produce, meat, fish, and dairy products are located while avoiding those center aisles with all the processed foods.

But sticking to the outside and skipping the inside keeps you away from some potentially healthy, convenient, waste-free foods. One category was suffering in recent years with lower sales due to changing consumer tastes. Find out which section of the grocery store is having a major comeback (page 4) thanks to an unlikely group of fans: millennials.

Millennials grocery shop differently

People check out at the grocery store.

People check out at the grocery store. | leaf/iStock/Getty Images

As a group, millennials have slightly different grocery shopping habits compared to their parents. They are more likely to look for convenient food options and are willing to pay a premium for them. They’re also the least likely group to use a shopping list (or only make them at the last minute) and are ready and willing to try new products. These traits make them a grocery store marketers dream.

Next: The real reason they won’t buy organic apples all the time.

They’re more frugal than you think 

Woman holding red piggy bank

A woman holds a red piggy bank. | iStock.com/Tuned_In

Sure, millennials love their Seamless and Grubhub apps, but a surprising number of them are cooking for themselves rather than wasting money on takeout or dining at restaurants for every meal. Between exorbitant city rent payments, student loans, and dismal salaries, they can’t afford to overspend on food all the time.

Next: Millennials hate doing this one thing.

They hate being wasteful

Woman carrying a bag of groceries

A woman carries a bag of groceries. | Jupiterimages/iStock/Getty Images

Throwing away food isn’t something millennials like to do if they can avoid it. That’s one reason they buy fewer groceries at once and aren’t the most likely group to join warehouse clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club.

Next: Millennials are saving this section of the grocery store.

Millennials are bringing back frozen foods 

Grocery store freezer

Grocery store freezer | iStock.com/fredgoldstein

According to Bloomberg, the volume of frozen food sales is on the rise for the first time in the last five years. Brands like Banquet frozen dinners, Eggo waffles, and Stouffer’s entrees are growing in popularity despite the fact that they don’t fit in with the current trend toward fresh, farm to table foods. It turns out that millennial shoppers are flocking to the frozen food section.

Next: Here’s why frozen foods deserve their comeback.

Frozen foods have a few surprising benefits

Woman taking deep frozen food from a freezer

A woman takes frozen food from a freezer. | iStock.com/Minerva Studio

So why do millennials love frozen food so much? It’s simple. These meals are easy to prepare and easy to portion. They generate less waste since they have a longer shelf life than fresh foods. Plus, millennials are often only cooking for themselves, so single-serving options are an inexpensive way to make just the right amount of food.

Next: You’ll barely recognize these TV dinners.

These aren’t your mom’s Lean Cuisines

Frozen turkey dinner

Frozen dinner | Rena-Marie/iStock/Getty Images

Thanks to the rising popularity, there are more healthful, delicious options than ever. New options and new brands with exciting, on-trend flavors for frozen entrees and sides make the frozen foods category increasingly appealing to millennial shoppers. Frozen food manufacturers are lightening up on sugar and sodium and opting instead for natural, pronounceable ingredients to match modern consumer buying preferences.

Next: Here’s why you should choose frozen over fresh.

Frozen food can be healthy

Frozen food in the refrigerator

Frozen food | iStock.com/BravissimoS

Even before the renaissance of frozen food, there were plenty of healthy options hiding out in the freezer cases right next to the ice cream. Frozen vegetables, for example, can be even healthier than fresh veggies since they’re flash frozen at the peak of ripeness.

Meanwhile, savvy companies like Green Giant are jumping on the low carb bandwagon and offering pasta alternatives such as riced cauliflower and zucchini noodles. All these nutritious goodies can be found in the freezer aisle.

Next: You can find plenty of options for this type of diet.

Frozen foods are great for vegans 

vegan burger

A vegan burger | iStock.com/margouillatphotos

Millennial vegans can find a bevy of options in the freezer aisle, too. Meatless burgers and other vegetarian or vegan options often have entire sections devoted to them in the frozen cases.

Next: This is why millennials really love frozen food.

Millennials want to eat at home

happy young people laugh and chat at dinner table

Friends have a meal together. | Milkos/iStock/Getty Images

Frozen foods allow millennials to create healthy meals at home without spending a ton of money. They’re like those pricey meal delivery kits — without the prep work or inflated pricing. For now, frozen food is the way of the future.

Read more: 15 Totally Normal Things Millennials Refuse to Buy

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