Marketers of ingredients and packaged goods have been trying to crack the millennial code for years. Their €8 trillion buying power makes this group’s preferences an important consideration for new products.
The key to their influence might come from their own conversations—online and on social media. CBD Marketing works with food ingredients companies and utilizes deep online conversation analysis to provide insights on millennial preferences. CBD analysts looked at US millennial conversation about food and beverages over a one-year period ending just a few months ago. We analysed precisely 12,491,797 posts from social networks, review sites and the comments section of news and blog posts.
From these 12 million posts, several trends emerged:
According to their own conversation, millennials talk about food in the context of their own health; how natural a product or ingredient is, how it will make them feel and what nutrients it contains are all important considerations. They’re cooking more, and frequently referenced alternative methods to the grocery store: Amazon Fresh delivery, Blue Apron and other delivery services.
Environmental factors like farming methods, recyclable packaging, and pesticides grew out of conversations about where to shop and what food labels means.
In the beverage category, conversations around soda generated some of the most passionately negative terms. Posts named soda ‘death sugar water’, and spoke of its high sugar content and mysterious label ingredients. More favourable conversations centred around water: carbonated, flavoured or plain, as well as plant-based milks like almond or cashew milk.
The group detailed wanting more from their beverages in terms of energy replenishment, digestive health and superfoods. Comments about green tea, kombucha and non-traditional juices like coconut and aloe were more prevalent and positive because of their better-for-you perception. Even coffee was unique with a sharp increase in conversation about cold brew over the course of this year.
When considering a product, millennials are more vocal about their purchase decisions, often soliciting advice, or commenting on review sites to ask specific questions. This provides an opportunity for marketers: insert content and education to help the decision-making process. It’s important to reach those asking for information outside of your typical brand platforms. Conversation might be occurring on a popular health magazine’s website or review forum and not on your own Twitter page.
Continually probe conversations online, refine and check your assumptions. This important group creates data every day that can be mined to inform a company or brand’s marketing and communications strategies.
Sarah will be speaking at Vitafoods Europe 2018 to share insights to millennial preferences. View the full programme and register to attend here.