First came the millennials. Then it was the hipsters. And then millennial hipsters. Now it's time for the Yuccies—"the cultural offspring of yuppies and hipsters." Yuccies are a classification of Generation Y individuals—born between 1982 and 2001—and are educated, creative, and urban living.
The term grew from an article and research published in June 2015. The first was a Forrester Research report titled "The Kids Are Overrated: Don't Worry About the Millennials." The second came from a Mashable article by David Infante titled “The hipster is dead, and you might not like who comes next.”
As with all things millennial-centric, these articles incited a firestorm of marketing classification to better target these affluent spenders.
What Is a Yuccie?
A yuccie is said to be a grown-up hipster who lives for freedom, creativity, and the enjoyment of the good things in life. More specifically, according to Infante, Yuccies are "a slice of Generation Y, borne of suburban comfort, indoctrinated with the transcendent power of education, and infected by the conviction that not only do we deserve to pursue our dreams; we should profit from them."
That's pretty specific. These perhaps non-bearded, non-tattooed folks are as likely to use technology and have groceries delivered as their hipster brethren (or their former hipster selves).
A popular statistic of the millennial-obsessed is that 10,000 millennials turn 21 every day in America. If you consider the age range of Yuccies, as of 2019 they are aged between 18 and 37 years old. Of course, Yuccies are digital natives. They are the only generation for which technology is not something they have had to adapt to.
Yuccies Love to Eat Out
Self-described Yuccie, David Infante, states that Yuccies are really into eating out. This generation also drinks more coffee than ever before—thanks to growing up in the age of Starbucks and the coffee-swilling Gilmore Girls.
A 2015 study by The NPD Group revealed that at least certain millennials decreased restaurant spending, to a not-so-paltry $96 billion. "Millennials say that they are cooking at home more often as many 'don’t at all mind to do so,' and about half claim to like to cook."
Reasons for eating at home included the price of eating out and the ability to make more healthful, good food at home.
I'm willing to bet the convenience and compulsion to eat while on their phones or laptops plays a part in this trend; you never know what to expect at a restaurant and the tension may be too much to take.
In other words, Whole Foods may be right on target with its new tech-centric, small-format "convenience" stores that will likely compete more with Trader Joe's, which has mastered convenient, ready-to-eat foods. In fact, many studies point to millennials opting to grab food from convenience stores.
Things Food Businesses Should Do
Every day it seems there is conflicting data about what millennials want. The bottom line is that technology rules and consumers have different desires and needs.
Keep focusing on providing a great customer experience, whether you have a restaurant, manufacture food, have a retail grocery, or something in between. Be technology-friendly, whether letting customers use their phones to pre-order or quickly find sustainable products with apps.
Encourage social sharing and communication in your customer service strategy. Create a customer experience that focuses on the experiential such as offering a sampling of products and having transparent information. Ask customers what they want. This includes using interesting fundraising and crowdfunding techniques for your food business.
Know and communicate your brand upfront. Know who you want to attract to understand your business potential and if you're all set for success. If your brand and business are more aligned with low-tech, old-fashioned values, so be it. It still has its place in the marketplace and should be marketed as such.
Finally, offer really good food at reasonable prices.