On June 11, Whole Foods announced the launch of their latest grocery store chain, 365, targeted specifically toward millennials seeking budget-friendly organic and fresh foods. Whole Foods has seen a decrease in profits recently, forcing the chain to evaluate their market and strategy. The announcement of 365 is an impressive gesture toward those looking to eat well on a smaller wallet, stay on trend with organic produce, and invest in quality food. There are quite a few members of the millennial generation on staff at Cooking Light, myself included, so this is our offering of what we'd really like to see in a grocery store experience. Just a heads-up: Millennials have an excellent sense of humor and sarcasm, so please take this list as you will (this is especially for you, Gen Xers and Boomers, etc.).
Obviously, millennials can only ingest online content via listicle, so let's, like, get started:
13. Smartphone Holders on CartsWho writes paper lists anymore? We'd like to call for mounts that are attached to our carts in order to easily check off items on our list. Target has those in-store Starbucks cup holders, so we deserve some justice for our phones/tablet laptops/Apple Watch/iPads, etc.
12. Speaking of Carts ...Remember those mini child-sized carts you'd beg your mom to let you use around Trader Joes? (That place is still magical; Grocery Store CEOs please take note.) I remember my heightened sense of purpose with my own personal-size shopping cart, so please follow suit. Sure, this might be standard-size carts that already exist, but we want to feel special. Make it happen.
11. Student Discounts on Bulk ItemsIt's totally unfair that books cost about the same as a can of Folgers, rolls of toilet paper, and a six-pack. We can't be spending all this cash on paper we throw away. Help us out with a little deal now and again. Veterans get their well-deserved discounts; just think of us as veterans of academia.
10. Taylor Swift's 1989 on LoopIt never goes out of Style.
9. More Samples!There is a reason why we can tolerate the lines at Costco on Sunday around lunchtime—there is essentially a meal waiting on sample trays, and the only payment we need is a smile and a polite "thank you" to the designated sample host. Small squares of protein bars, tiny cups of sports drinks, and two crackers with crab spread—free food is great food. Let's standardize this sample system and millennials will be flocking to the stores. #moresamples
8. Mom Chauffeurs Let's face it, we can't do anything without our moms. Can we get someone to hold our hands through the aisles of Pop-Tarts and frozen pizza?
7. More Bearded Men, Plaid Shirts, Hipster MustachesYes, please!
6. Craft Product HeavenIt might be a proven fact that we will definitely go out of our way for the world's tiniest jar of jam just because it is labeled small-batch, craft, or local. We, as millennials, love boasting via Instagram that we support small businesses and niche products. Stock our shelves with sweet pickles from the Tennessee Valley, peanut butter made out of the world's finest legumes, or some other pretentious nonsense and we will most certainly purchase it, ironically or not.
5. Live Music on the Patio (The Figurative One)Basically please make the grocery store experience as close to the Sunday farmers' market as possible. We'd love to see local artists while we shop for our organic kale and other juicing ingredients, even if we have to deal with fluorescent lights. Speaking of ...
4. Fluorescent Lighting Is the Worst. Get Rid of It.Basically string tea lights everywhere—maybe mason jars?
3. GPS Throughout the StoreThis might get a little Big Brother, but can we get some help navigating the grocery store? Why on earth are raisins next to the popcorn? People, quinoa doesn't have to be in three different sections, we get it already. Let's propose a Google Maps for the grocery store, with pinpoints for each hard-to-find item.
2. Give It to Us StraightThis doesn't just apply to millennials, but why can't we easily figure out what food is good food in the grocery store? What is "natural" versus organic, conventional, or otherwise? Why do we have to decipher nutritional literature to figure out why fat-free yogurt has a crazy amount of sugar? Let's just bring back the grading system—everybody wants straight A's! We all understand that ramen noodles get an F, OK?
1. Screw It, Can't We Just Get It Delivered?Via drone, specifically. Get it done, people—maybe we will even tweet about it.