Meeting the needs of the Millennial - Macphie

Born between 1982 and 1993, there are around 80 million Millennials making waves in the food and drink market (Forbes). This digital generation currently has the lowest level of employment and is the lowest-earning generation, yet is expected to have the highest spending power of any generation due to its sheer size so are not to be ignored (National Restaurant Association).

Millennials have an individualistic nature which they choose to reflect through their purchasing choices and are drawn to innovative food packaging and adventurous flavours. With information at their fingertips thanks to smartphones and tablets, Millennials are knowledgeable about food and eager to explore new concepts.

So how can we cater to this bold market?

1. Convenience is key: Around 40% of Millennials don’t want cereal for breakfast because cleaning out the bowl afterwards is an inconvenience (Mintel). Busy lifestyles mean Millennials value convenience and want something they can ‘grab and go.’

2. Transparency: Millennials are becoming increasingly concerned with choosing brands that are ‘doing good’ and want to know more about the people, values and ethics behind the brand.

Food producers should take care that their supply chain and operations follow high environmental and ethical standards and should use the power of the internet to communicate these efforts to customers. Providing an insight into how your company operates can really help engage with this generation.

3. Be adventurous: Millennials are on the lookout for the next big thing, making them more likely to try new and daring flavours. In fact, research by the Hartman Group shows that 40% of Millennials like to try ‘anything new and different.’

Flavours such as elderflower, sriracha, lemongrass, meyer lemon, galangal thai ginger, kaffir lime and yuzu sour mandarin are examples of some of the unusual flavours taking the Millennial generation by storm at the moment (DSM). Mix up some old classics with exclusive ingredients to provide a unique offering and it’s likely these dishes will end up on Instagram!

4. Every penny counts: Many individuals in this generation of 23 – 34 year olds are facing the impact of a tough economy and have major concerns over repaying their student loans or moving on to the property ladder. However, despite being strapped for cash, 60% of Millennials eat out at least once a week with one third dining out three times or more in a week.

Their interest in trying new things makes them averse to brand loyalty but price will continue to play a key part in purchasing decisions. Providing convenience, innovation and quality at a reasonable price are key to pleasing the Millennial market.

This unique generation is a demanding consumer group driving trends in the food and drink market, presenting an exciting opportunity to mix up our menus. Use flavours and storytelling to connect with customers and you might soon become an Internet sensation.