6 Ways Food Brands Can Tap Into the Millennial Mindset

how food brands reach millennial mindset

It’s clear that Millennials, like the rest of us, love to eat. And with so many choices available, from healthy to cheap, Millennials think differently about how they spend their hard-earned dollars. Brands that want to appeal to the Millennial mindset need to understand what’s important to them, starting with these six tips:

Use Humor

Millennials certainly aren’t the only ones who appreciate humor in advertising. As humans, we buy from people we like. And being funny is a sure-fire way to make us like you.

Not only that, but we also tend to remember funny ads—not just the content of the commercial, but also the product being sold. The real difference when marketing with humor to Millennials is knowing what they find funny.

What Millennials find amusing can sometimes walk a fine line between funny and offensive. Always know when to use humor and just how far you can go. Millennials love to be entertained and bond over the inside jokes of their generation, but make sure that humor works to reinforce your brand proposition.

Emphasize Health

Healthy eating is a big selling point for Millennials. Some are interested in fresh organic food while others just want healthier options for fast food. The end result is the same: offer healthy alternatives and Millennials will love you.

Consider Millennial favorites Whole Foods and Chipotle. No one could claim these two brands are anywhere near similar, except that both are perceived as healthy choices among the sea of junk food and fast food offerings available.

Get Nostalgic

It seems like Millennials had to grow up faster than any other generation before them. Many were kids during crushing financial crises, and dealing with college debt, choosing careers, and surviving on their own stole a lot of their youth.

Is it any wonder they like to relive the “good old days,” back when they were able to just be a kid without a care in the world? If you can tap into that nostalgia, you’ve got some marketing gold.

This nostalgia is why Pokémon GO was such a massive hit, why people are right now clamoring for the Nintendo Switch, and why Colonel Sanders is back at the helm in all the latest KFC commercials.

Be Socially Conscious

Millennials have a lot of spending power, but that doesn’t mean they’ll part with their money without thought. Brands with social consciences provide the opportunity for Millennials to buy the products they love while also helping others.

Consider the immense popularity of TOMS shoes and Warby Parker glasses. Both of these companies have a one-for-one program that provides shoes and glasses to people in need. Patagonia donates a portion of their proceeds to environmental causes. Ben & Jerry’s engages in grassroots activism and supports social justice through their own foundation.

Not only do they support the big brands that give back, they also like to support their local businesses. Fresh, local produce and local, chef-driven restaurants see a lot of dollars from Millennials, because this generation likes to feel as though they’re helping their neighbors and local economy.

Get Engaged

More and more consumers want to engage with their favorite brands, especially the Millennial generation. It’s not enough to answer their tweets and Facebook comments, either. They want to be a part of the story whenever possible.

Lay’s took advantage of this with their “Do Me a Flavor” contest, inviting their buyers to submit wild and wacky potato chip flavors for production. When they followed through and put the winners’ flavors on the market, they cemented themselves as one of Millennials’ favorite brands.

Create a Revolution

Millennials also love specialty foods—the more unusual, the better. From craft beer to craft ice cream, this generation’s tastes are revolutionizing food choices.

That desire for different has also led to the customized, build-your-own bowl meals, from rice and noodles to salad, quinoa, and poké. These bowls allow creative freedom, as well as the ability to choose quality, healthy ingredients.

What will you do to tap into the Millennial mindset this year? If you would like to discuss any of these strategies for marketing food brands to Millennials, give us a call.