Rise of the Millennials

by Anne Goodstein/Creative Director & Partner

One thing we confirmed, after visiting the Produce Marketing Association Annual Fresh Summit in Orlando this past weekend, is that everybody is targeting Millennials. If you’re not, you should.

We saw more easy to cook/easy to use packaging, healthier meal solutions, greener & organic options, foodie/craft products…. than Millennials could dream of tweeting. Companies are adjusting their marketing, paying attention to corporate storytelling, social responsibility initiatives, and product sourcing… to seduce our nation’s largest living generation.*

Why do they bother? If Baby Boomers are still big spenders, the growth in younger generation is shifting and so are there spending patterns. Millennials now have an amazing buying power.**

How can you prepare your company to cater to Millennials?

This is what we’ve learned:

  1. Make it Social & Personal.
    Cater to the needs and values of this socially conscious generation, develop a solid corporate story, and then spread the word on their social media channels, and on your packaging. Collaboration is essential. Push engagement between Millennials and your brand by involving them in the process and never lie, they will not forgive you.
  2. Make it Exceptional.
    Develop unusual products, specialty foods, introduce unique varieties, innovative packaging solutions, serve local products, talk about provenance, make sure that your service is impeccable, and use rewards or coupons to drive loyalty.
  3. Make it Quick & Easy.
    Millennials have short attention spans with little patience for waiting. It’s not enough to have a good product, make it easy to use. It’s not enough to communicate with them through social media, be engaged, and respond fast, over deliver at every corner. Think out of the Baby boomers’ box.

Walking the floor of the show, it was obvious that catering to Millennials creates opportunities, creative solutions and boosts innovation. If you engage with Millennials honestly, help them while entertaining them and you will build a solid relationship. They are worth it.

*Source: Pew Research Center: According to population estimates released this month by the U.S. Census Bureau. Millennials, whom we define as those ages 18-34 in 2015, now number 75.4 million, surpassing the 74.9 million Baby Boomers (ages 51-69). (April 25, 2016)

**Source: ACA International, Study: Growth in Younger Generations Changes Spending Patterns in U.S. Oct 14, 2016