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IRI-Millennials-Financial-Difficulties-May2013Millennials might be a prized target for marketers, but their financial health is under fire, details Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) in its latest MarketPulse Survey. The Shopper Sentiment Index, which measures the economy’s impact on consumers and how they approach grocery shopping, remained at approximately 85 among Millennials in Q1, a level it has stood at or around for a year. By contrast, the index for consumers as a whole recovered from 94 in Q4 2012 to 103 in Q1, indicating that Millennials consider themselves to be far worse off than the general consumer.

The index is based on a benchmark of 100 set in Q1 2011. According to the researchers, a score above 100 “reflects consumers that are less price driven, more loyal to favorite brands and better equipped to maintain their desired lifestyle without changes.”

Millennials’ financial difficulties are demonstrated in other survey results, too. While 28% of consumers overall said that the expiration of the 2% payroll tax cut in January led to them having less money to buy groceries, that figure rose to 38% among Millennials. By comparison, just 21% of respondents aged 55 and older shared those pressures.

Also, when asked if they were having difficult affording groceries, Millennials were 41% more likely than the average consumer to agree (38% vs. 27%). Additionally, Millennials appear to be having even more difficulty affording groceries now than they did 2 years ago, when 33% said they were having a hard time.

A study released this time last year by WSL/Strategic Retail found 1 in 4 18-34-year-olds saying that they do not have enough money to cover their basic needs.

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