We’ve all read the posts about how millennials killed fabric softener, banks, and bar soap. Millennials became the much-appreciated scapegoat for nearly any kind of product that failed to disrupt and meet the evolving needs of today’s consumers. But isn’t it high time we gave this massive and highly differentiated group of people credit where credit is due? You see, while these 25 to 40 year olds were busy finding careers, building families, and carting kids to soccer, ballet, and college, they magically convinced food companies to create healthier, more flavourful food.
This cohort was raised in the internet era where everyone had quick and easy access to knowledge about diverse societies and cultures, economies around the world, the global impact of humans on the environment, and so much more. Combine the buying power of a massive group of people with the evolution of trends and the end result is innovation in the food category.
When it comes to food, millennials lean towards healthy products that are better for people and better for the environment. Taking advantage of sensory research to ensure new offerings score high on taste, scent, and mouth feel, plant-based products have become massively popular. With their ambition to be the world leader in well-living through plant-based foods, Bonduelle has taken an innovation by creating single serve, ready-to-eat salads that stay fresh in the fridge for several days.
But is a salad too boring for your liking? Don’t worry. McCormick, a nearly 130 year old company that manufactures spices, seasonings, condiments, and other flavoring products, has conducted its own consumer research to bring “Tasty” to market. This innovative line of spice blends (Fiery, Zesty, Savory, Jazzy, and Hearty) was specifically created using analytical methods with millennials in mind. The new flavours might be of interest to all age groups but perhaps more relatable to millennials is the fact that McCormick is branding this product in cooperation with Buzzfeed (Yes, that Buzzfeed).
Still on the health-kick bandwagon, Kellogg’s too has noticed the millennial desire for healthier products. With that in mind, rather than going the innovation route, they are strategically targeting the “evolving food IQ in men” by focusing on the high protein content of Vector cereal. They are marketing to millennials rather than innovating for millennials.
Of course, a balanced diet always includes a few treats. M&Ms are right on track with their new messaging appropriated (with permission and friendly cooperation) from KFC. In an effort to bring the brand to life with a trendier, more cheeky way, they exchanged their famous candy messaging from “melts in your mouth, not in your hands” to one of “finger lickin’ good.”
Many companies have already turned to plant based diets to create products that are healthier and better for the environment. Whether their target group is specifically millennials or a much broader group, consumer research incorporating taste tastes, sensory tests, and various other types of consumer research served to get them there more quickly and wisely.
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With nearly 40 years of experience, Canadian Viewpoint is a field and data collection company that specializes in English and French offline and online services. We offer sample, programming, hosting, mall intercepts, pre-recruits, central location recruitment, mystery shopping, site interviews, IHUTs, sensory testing, discussion boards, CATI, facial coding, and other innovative technologies. Learn more about our services on our website. Canadian Viewpoint is a founding board member of CRIC (Canadian Research Insights Council).