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Millennials & Teens Sound Off: Their Top 20 Favorite Food Brands

They’re in control of shopping carts and changing grocery stores—so we asked 1000 13-33-year-olds to tell us their favorite food brands, and why they like them…

Millennials are taking over the grocery store—and it may never be the same. Brands like Fresh Direct are working to make grocery shopping even more of an immediate gratification with apps that deliver groceries to city-dwelling consumers in an hour. Grocery stores are creating online personas to earn fans—Wegman’s has just 88 stores, but 314,000 Facebook fans, and a popular Twitter hashtag (#Wegmania). Kroger’s new chain Main & Vine was created with young consumers’ food attitudes in mind, and experiments with “[f]resh foods, healthy eating, [and] pre-made meals.” The financial limitations of the generation were also kept in mind. Whole Foods has infamously launched 365 by Whole Foods, carefully designing their stores to attract younger shoppers—and considering including tattoo services at 365 locations. Of course, extreme store makeovers aside, to win over a new generation of grocery shoppers, many supermarkets are just stocking more of the foods they want, like “local, craft and fermented foods, and big international flavors (i.e., kimchi).” Now that they’re adulting and pushing the cart, understanding the food brands that Millennials are shopping for is more important than ever.

According to Ypulse’s most recent Topline Report and survey data, almost eight in ten 18-33-year-olds say they do the grocery shopping in their household, and 85% of 13-17-year-olds say they influence the groceries purchased. We learned how frequently they’re shopping, what labels they’re looking for, and, of course, what brand’s they’re putting in their carts. We asked Millennials and teens to answer the question, “Thinking of products that you buy in a grocery store, what is your favorite food brand?”* Here are their top 20 responses: 

  1. Kraft
  2. Kellogg’s
  3. Store Brand/Generic Brand
  4. Trader Joe’s Store Brand
  5. Great Value/Walmart Store Brand
  6. General Mills : 18
  7. Kroger Store Brands
  8. Nabisco
  9. Lay’s
  10. Tyson
  11. Target Store Brands
  12. Annie’s
  13. Nestle
  14. Oreos
  15. Coca Cola
  16. Doritos
  17. HEB Store Brand
  18. Ben & Jerry’s
  19. Dole
  20. Chobani/Hershey’s/Morning Star Farms (three way tie) 

Kraft is the number one favorite food brand mentioned, and their mac and cheese helped boost them to the top. Many respondents who told us Kraft is their favorite mentioned their famous blue box product—one 20-year-old male told us “Because Macaroni and Cheese, that’s why.” But quality and price were also named frequently as reasons the brand is a favorite. A 32-year-old male commented the brand, “provides more of my favorite foods and is a company I trust,” and a 30-year-old female told us “I love the quality and the way it tastes.”

Kellogg’s came in second (their cereal was unsurprisingly a big reason why)—but, as we saw last year when looking at Millennials’ go-to grocery brands, store brand/generic labels are the real winners of this list. Six of the 20 top favorite brands mentioned are store/generic brands. In fact, if we add up all of the respondents who named a grocery store brand as a favorite, they would make up 16% of the total responses—far more than any specific brand received. In our monthly survey, we also found that 28% of Millennials who grocery shop say that a store brand label actually makes them more likely to buy an item while grocery shopping.  


*These were open-end response questions to allow us to capture the full range of Millennials’ favorite food brands. As with any qualitative question, the responses include those that are top of mind, and those that are actually most loved. The top 20 list is ordered according to number of responses received, and alphabetically when ties occurred.