Millennials Love Trader Joe’s
According to research from Onesixtyfourth LLC, Trader Joe’s has cultivated an eclectic, cult-like following among Millennials, particularly those identified as trendsetters and early adopters. The grocer’s brand strength is said to be on par with big-name brands like Apple, Ford, Nike and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
CultureQ, Onesixtyfourth’s research initiative designed to monitor the sentiment and cultural shifts among Millennials in the U.S. and the U.K., found many Millennials are drawn to the humor and casualness of the brand: the Hawaiian staff shirts, the quirky product names, and "the easy-going yet efficient way staff relate to customers." They also love the brand’s natural and organic offerings.
Trader Joe’s has also retained its quirky vibe and "neighborhood feel despite being a chain," as one CultureQ participant reflects. Indeed, rather than devalue the brand, the fact that it is a national chain brings Millennials "a sense of security." The first Trader Joe’s opened in 1967, and has expanded into a small grocery store empire of over 350 stores in some 31 states.
"Trader Joe’s feels like it’s theirs," said Anne Bahr Thompson, founding partner of Onesixtyfourth, of Millennials in a statement. "Its food offerings are inexpensive, interesting, and delicious, and most importantly, the brand is hip and cool in that elusive offbeat and alternative way."
In 2010, Outlaw Consulting ranked Trader Joe’s among the top-15 trusted brands by Millennials. Like jetBlue and In-N-Out Burger, Outlaw’s Trendsetter Panel linked the grocer’s Millennial appeal to being "downright dorky" and not fitting the conventions of being hip. Wrote Outlaw Consulting, "They wear these tacky Hawaiian shirts and publish that ridiculous newsletter. But it’s their own style. And it’s so much more inviting than the normal rigid grocery store."
- Quality and attention to detail elevate the brand profile of a quirky specialty retailer – Onesixtyfourth
- Spotlight on Trader Joes: hip, cool and off-beat – Onesixtyfourth
- The Millennial Appeal of Google, Under Armour & Trader Joe’s – Millennial Marketing
- Outlaw Consulting – Translating Gen-Y’s Mindset – Outlaw Consulting
What makes Trader Joe’s “hip and cool” to Millennials? How much of its appeal relates to its quirkiness versus products, prices and the basic shopping experience? Can other grocers strive to replicate its more “dorky” features?