3 keys to marketing to millennial parents


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Millennial parents have become massively influential consumers.

Several statistics testify to the purchasing power of the generation. First, millennials in general make up the largest cohort of adults in the world, with 23% of the global population – or 1.8 billion – being part of this cohort. According to Sunrise Strategic Partners, an accelerator of emerging brands, the purchasing power of 26-41 year olds has increased by more than 60% over the period 2016-2020, or approximately 1,400 billion dollars.

There are currently approximately 72.1 million millennials in America. And, within the next 15 years, 80% of millennials will be parents, according to marketing firm SNIPP.

How can food companies appeal to millennial parents? This topic is central to food institute detailed report this month, which will be available to members from May 17 (to join FI, Click here). Here’s a look at advice from industry leaders.

To win over millennial parents, food companies need to display a social conscience. According to Incrementors Inbound Marketing, 37% of millennials favor a brand solely because of the causes it supports.

“Millennials buy products for a variety of reasons, including quality and flavor,” said Shiv Gupta, CEO of Increasers Inbound Marketing. “A lot of people in this generation are drawn to brands that support social concerns.”

Millennial consumers are also demanding that businesses be available online. By most accounts, millennials tend to be influenced by online reviews, as well as comments seen on social media. For this reason, food companies should actively engage parents through digital means to help form positive impressions of their brands. And their websites should be as transparent as possible.

“Gen Y is Gen Google; they want to be able to find answers to their questions with just a few clicks,” said Kristen Nauss, registered dietitian based in Chattanooga, Tenn., and founder of the consulting firm Buying School Food. “Food companies need a website with up-to-date product information to stay competitive.”

It is also imperative that food companies focusing on quality and safety in their marketing arguments and on their packaging. Fresh ingredients are especially important to millennials; according to marketing firm Vericast, 35% of millennials say they cook more meals with fresh food, compared to 29% of Gen Z and 27% of baby boomers.

According to Kathryn Bernell, founder of reHarvest Provisions, “products with clean ingredients continue to win the market.”


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