How Different Generations Search within the Food and Beverage Category

In today’s dynamic consumer landscape, search trends are in a constant state of flux. New platforms emerge, consumer preferences shift, and cultural trends evolve. What people are using as their go-to sources for searches today might be entirely different from just a few years ago. For businesses, staying informed about these trends is not just a luxury but a necessity to adapt their strategies effectively in this ever-changing environment.

In our proprietary research, we delved deep into this matter. We surveyed over a thousand consumers to uncover their search preferences across various categories. Within the food and beverage category we identified top-referenced sources such as Walmart, Amazon, and Google.

When it comes to social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and others, there was consistency in user preferences across different age groups. Specifically, the data shows that both age brackets, those aged 18-34 and those 35 and older, exhibit only a slight 1% variation in their preferences for these platforms. This indicates that, when seeking inspiration or information related to a upcoming purchase, there isn’t a specific social media platform that significantly stands out as the preferred choice for either age group.

When you broke down and looked deeper into the sources by age range it told another story.

When comparing the data above to the broader sample, significant statistical shifts emerge:

  • Walmart is almost 2x less popular among younger consumers (those under 35) compared to consumers who are 35 years and older, posing a concern for Walmart since younger consumers (About 77 million) represent a significant market segment. 


  • Among those 35+, 70% of all the search sources are attributed to retailers and search engines which resulted in older consumers relying on more established retailers and search engines for food and beverage knowledge than the younger demographics.


  • Google is about 172% more favored with those 35+ than those 18-34, which poses a risk to Google as younger audiences are less likely to use Google and turn to alternatives giving competitors more ground.


Brands must adopt a broader perspective on their search campaigns and leverage cross-platform insights to achieve sustained business success.