Consumer Insight: Millennials

Millennials are a group of consumers born generally between the years of 1981 to 1996, with some variation, sandwiched in between the older Gen X and younger Gen Z.  Millennials are most known for “disrupting” major industries with their distinctive buying and consumption habit, placing an emphasis on cost-value, quality, and authenticity. Socially-conscious and globally-minded, Millennials are open to new cuisines, flavors, and brands, forcing brands to rethink their production and marketing strategies. Join us as we explore the three main factors that define Millennials’ consumption and eating preferences and how they have impacted the food and beverage industry.


Personal Preference

                Often send to be “killing” every industry from napkins to breakfast cereal, Millennials tend to buy based on personal preference and perceived value rather than brand loyalty.  As industries continue to develop and brands continue to innovate and push out more products, Millennials are faced with more options than previous generations and are not shown to stick to established brands or certain categories just because their parents purchased them. Constantly searching for high-quality, reasonably priced products, Millennials tend to gravitate towards brands that reflect their own identity and align with their own values of sustainability, transparency, and humanitarianism are more open to new and unique brands, preferring innovation over long-standing reputation. Millennial influence has caused the popularity of artisanal and craft products such as fruit and honey-infused beer, nitro and cold brew coffee, and globally-inspired condiments to skyrocket, and brands are constantly innovating to keep up.



                Millennials tend to be more health-conscious than previous generations, but rather than focusing on the low-fat, low-calorie diet products of the past, Millennials have a holistic view towards health and tend to choose products with clean-label claims and whole ingredients that are less processed. They do not shy away from calories or fat as long as they are made from natural, nutrient-dense ingredients, more concerned with sustainable, long-term wellness rather than fad diets or short-term hacks. But health is not the only focus for millennials, as consumers are also looking to incorporate occasional indulgences into their mindful diets. Chocolate covered dried fruits, sea salt and caramel yogurt, and sweet coffee drinks are a few of the products Millennials are choosing.



                For busy Millennials, convenience is key. They tend to snack more than previous generations and are less likely to eat full meals and eat on the go. Brands have responded by developing products in smaller, to-go packages like pre-seasoned water-packed tuna, ready to drink green smoothies, and pre-made salads packed with fresh and flavorful ingredients. Flexible products that fit busy lifestyles often spent in between meetings or on the road that still offer nutrition and innovative flavor concepts are ideal products for this demographic of consumers.


Brands must find the sweet spot between Millennials’ complicated preferences and purchasing habits.  Products that focus on time saving and convenience must be healthy, indulgent products must be clean label, and price points must remain reasonable while still boasting value.