Millennials love the thrill of discovering something new and unique. They’re adventurous travelers, eager to try the latest exercise trends, and excited about indie beauty and fashion brands. This passion for exploration extends to their palates—almost half of all Millennials consider themselves foodies. Small food brands have excelled in engaging Millennials with craft and small-batch products that complement their healthy lifestyle and desire for innovative new products—and that’s hurting established mainstream brands. Today, small brands represent a 49% share of the premium market, while mid-tier and private label/retail brands account for 25% and 23%. Growth among the larger premium brands was a paltry 3%.
Smaller = Better
Millennials are willing to spend more for what they perceive is high quality, and they want the premium features that go along with it. Sixty-one percent want foods free from GMOs, compared to 49% of Gen Xers. In addition to being GMO-free, more than half expect their foods to be locally and sustainably sourced and organic.Millennials believe “free-from” and sustainable foods are healthier than conventionally grown foods—84% said they feel more health conscious and 81% feel more responsible when they buy products with these benefits.
Transparency and Authenticity in Food is Essential for Millennials
Not only do small food brands deliver the features they want, but more than a third of Millennials say they trust small local brands. Small brands are perceived to be more transparent in their manufacturing and labeling. Brands have a real opportunity to open a dialogue with consumers about ingredients, sourcing, and health benefits of their products. Brands can engage consumers through education, build awareness with content that shows the consumer how the product was produced, and create affinity through brand storytelling.
Millennials are making a statement about their values with the foods they buy. Small brands have raised the bar with unique, premium products that offer the features Millennials want and authentic brand stories that engage them. To succeed with this demographic established brands are going to have to align their values with the consumers or risk losing them.
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Source: 2017 Y-Pulse Modern Consumer: Understanding Tomorrow's Tastemakers Today Study, Maru Matchbox The Future of Food Are You Ready for The Millennials 2017