Millennial-led households are the fastest growing spenders on grocery shopping and are driving the growth of the discounters, according to Nielsen Homescan data released today.

Overall grocery spend in the UK is up 2.7% year on year, but spend among households where a millennial (aged 16-35) is the main shopper grew by 7.9%. The next fastest growing spenders were households led by people aged 65+, at 3.0%.

Millennials are also increasingly spending at the discounters, with their spend at Aldi up 46% year-on-year, compared to 11.4% among the total population.

Historically, Asda had the strongest appeal with millennials – especially millennial families who allocate 17.1% of their grocery spend to Asda, compared to just 11.4% among the total population. Millennial spend at Lidl rose 28%, nearly twice the rate across all shoppers (15%).

Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight, said millennials were shopping more frequently and continuing to buy more per trip.

“This is down to the increasing number of local store formats which suit their ‘top-up’ lifestyle – and can include spending more on food consumed outside the home – much more than the big weekly trip to a large out-of-town store,” he added.

“Although millennials, particularly families, have historically over-indexed on shopping at Asda, they’re now really driving the growth of the discounters.

“However, it’s important not to think of millennials as one homogenous group, for example, they’ve also increased spend dramatically at M&S which has a large price difference to the discounters due a different product assortment.”