Healthy and Social Intentions from Millennials Lead to New Shopping Outlets

    How often do you see photos on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest devoted solely to the food that younger generations are consuming? This devotion to food and health are two of a number of differences between Millennials and previous generations.

    With creativity spilling out of their ears, Millennials are using food as an outlet for their kitchen innovations. They are seeking adventure in creating interesting and shareworthy recipes for their peers. In the same sense, they value the creation of recipes almost 20% more than non-Millennials. Most Millennials are craving unique recipes seen from social media, television or magazines. Specifically from grocery stores, nearly 40% of Millennials provide creative menu ideas or recipes from social media outlets.


    Jeff Fromm
    (Copyright© 2013 by Barkley. All rights reserved.)

    In the new Millennial-inspired Participation Economy, the old definition of brand value — the one that worked for decades — is dead.

    As marketers, we knew that the sum of our core functional and emotional benefits divided by price would give us a proxy for brand value.  Stronger brands had more price elasticity.  However, the old definition no longer holds if you want to engage Millennials or older generations that are adopting a “Millennial Mindset.”

    Sharing these unique recipes and experiences follows a social media routine. First, Millennials search for pictures and recipes of foods through Pinterest. They shop for their specific ingredients. While shopping, Tweeting and texting about the shopping experience isn’t uncommon followed by an update of pictures while cooking their masterpiece. Lastly, Instagram and Facebook publicizes the Millennials’ creation. The goal for Millennials is to recreate the Pinterest picture and to generate ‘likes’ and re-tweets from followers. The actual consumption is secondary to the shared experience along the way.

    Jeff FrommThe socialization of Millennials’ lives is unlimited. Everything is shared. The goal for marketers in stores is to recognize that Millennials want the information they share to be shareworthy to their followers.

    It’s all about the benefit the person cooking and creating this creative content gets about the sexiness of their food versus the taste and nutrition of the food itself. Healthiness of products becomes secondary to the shared experience.

    This Millennial generation is more likely to “blend sauces and infuse flavors to customize new salad dressings and marinades,” said Laurie Demeritt, CEO and President of The Hartman Group, Inc., in her recent “Should You Ask A Millennial To Cook” article. Considering that most college-aged Millennials may have only mastered basics like ramen noodles and Easy Mac, 32% of Millennials want to learn how to cook more.

    In addition to being devoted to food trends, Millennials, like many Americans, are seriously considering the food they consume. According to research by Barkley in conjunction with the Boston Consulting Group and SMG, more than 30% of Millennials regularly eat organic foods.

    So, what does this mean for store owners, grocery suppliers or organic food brands? Millennials are craving the constant communication, engagement and connection with the brands they love and trust. Stores taking advantage of those trends will benefit from the Millennial presence. WF


    Jeff FrommJeff Fromm is the executive vice president at Barkley; co-author of Marketing To Millennials; founder of; blogger at; and trends speaker.


    posted on, June 14, 2013