It's time to Do more to UnDerstanD millennials, get Proactive
Ariane van Mancius, of agency NowNewNext, on why you need to prioritise the millennial market.
Seven years from now, today's millennials - Generation Y - will be the most critical consumers you have and it’s about time you began understanding how they eat.
They are interested in food, very interested. It's a significant part of their lifestyle and their identity and they have a keen eye, and an almost palpably different approach to baby-boomers and Generation X. They are forging a sort of counter-revolution to the food revolution focused on local produce, health and sustainability.
They want appealing, attractive and photogenic food as social media plays a key role in their world. Sharing on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest has fuelled this neo-food movement ensuring rapid growth by creating a movement that cuts across class and nationality and belongs to all, high and low, rich or poor.
Rethink your priorities
Far too many food companies focus only on capacity but the industry needs to think differently and to truly see what's happening in the market, what the consumer is looking for and the underlying drivers influencing change.
If you only look at what's happening now, you are by definition in a reactive position and with this way of thinking you're already too late. To be ahead of the pack you need knowledge of and clear insight into the motivators of Generation Y and you need to act proactively.
Spot the connections
I'm working closely with millennial fashion and lifestyle specialists Kult&Ace and we’ve discovered some fascinating cross overs between what they see and my own food, beverage and packaging area. We've identified 10 factors important to millennials including 3D design, hospitality concepts, food, flavour, beverage, packaging and airline food.
When you see trends emerge - such as the popularity of pink food, salad bowls or demand for eco tableware, the essential question should be: why? Followed by: how will this develop? As an industry we have to see the mechanisms behind consumer behaviour and respond with strategic product innovations which translate insights into concrete products and packaging. In my vision, product and packaging form a single, total concept. It’s now time to do more than simply design a new box around an existing product.
Ariane has partnered with Melanie Bosveld and the team at Kult&Ace to develop new insights and innovation for the millennial market