Millennials Leading the Way in Emerging Food Trends
One generation having a particularly meaningful impact on consumer behavior is the millennials, and, notwithstanding the fact they may have an untraditional view of what a good-for-you product can be, they seem to know exactly what they want. According to Mintel, 42 percent of millennial shoppers perceive private label store brands as more innovative than branded products. Conversely, older shoppers are more likely to consider store brands of lower quality and consistency. Every CEO and marketing professional wants to know what the millennials are doing, thinking and buying. With the explosion of social media, millennials’ preferences and views are quite transparent if we look hard enough, and their digital influence can’t be denied.
So what are millennials looking for? A few things are obvious, including clean labels with easy-to-read ingredients and product claims. They prefer no artificial additives and have a preference for functional packaging that is easy to open or re-sealable. Mintel goes on to report that 97 percent of millennials are likely to buy store brands and “store brand shoppers are gravitating towards products that list ingredients they recognize, and feature prominent claims such as organic, low/no/reduced or made with natural ingredients.” The other big difference in millennials is in the way they eat, preferring smaller portions and meal replacements to three big meals a day, the way baby boomers were conditioned to eat. Needless to say, the active lifestyles that the millennials and Gen-Xers live support this powerful trend.
One product category that everyone seems to agree on is yogurt. According to IRI’s list of 2014 New Product Pacesetters, which ranks the best performing new products based on one year of sales, four yogurt products, including Chobani Simply 100, Activia Greek, Chobani Flip and Yoplait Greek Blended, finished in the top 10. Of course, these new products follow several years of robust growth in an age-old category that has been revitalized. Once again, the younger generations are at the forefront of this growth, but are clearly influencing older generations as well.