The baby boomer demographic has long been the sought after segment for nearly all brands and retailers. This is with good reason, as they make up slightly more than a quarter of the U.S. population, but control over 70% of the total net worth of American households. However, it’s expected that by 2017 Millennials will likely be outspending the Baby Boomers.
While companies in industries ranging from CPG to tech and everything in between clamor to become the darlings of this fast growing demographic, it still remains the most nuanced and least understood audience. Particularly hard hit by the recession compared to Gen X or Baby Boomers, and armed with the latest informational technology, they’re not only frugal, but very savvy shoppers. In pursuit of a shopping experience that is social and enjoyable, Millennials not only value the ability of a retailer to make them smile 33% more than the Baby Boomers, but also seek a store that is fun to shop 43% of the time.
In order to understand this elusive segment of the population, and entice them to purchase, retailers can take a two-pronged approach. First, connect with the Millennials through their preferred medium: mobile devices. Second, have in-store packaging that correlates with their beliefs and values.
The physical clipping of coupons from weekly flyers may be a thing of the past, but its modern day iteration makes “couponing” trendy and more importantly, easy. From searching for promo codes online before making purchases, scouring daily deal sites like Groupon or Living Social, to loading up e-coupons through apps for grocery store chains like Ralph’s, Millennials are increasingly taking advantage of technology to shop smartly. It’s been reported that 96% of Millennials are using coupons today, and that 57% of Millennials report they use their smartphones to look for coupons while shopping for groceries.
The online presence of a brand is often the first point of contact between a company and the Millennial generation. Just like first impressions in person, an online first impression can make or break a potential relationship. This tech savvy generation is increasingly critical and studies show that 86% of Milllennials say there are still a lot of websites without good mobile functionality, and that 14% wouldn’t do business with a company that doesn’t have a mobile site or app.
Always plugged in and connected, 87% of this mobile generation admitted that their phones never leave their sides. In order to reach this generation, it’s crucial to connect with them where they spend most of their time.
It’s an ever-evolving challenge to successfully target and engage Millennials, but there is still hope for brands and retailers. The piece that can unlock the puzzle of winning over this attention-challenged generation in the store comes in the form of product packaging. Nicknamed by some as “The Last 10 Seconds of Marketing,” well thought out and designed product packaging can give a brand the edge on the store shelf by attracting attention, and winning the sale.
Shifting cultural values and concerns regarding the impact consumerism has on the global environment means that the Millennials are prioritizing convenience, personal health, and overall environmental impact alongside the price of an item.
In the realm of food packaging, convenience is key for Millennials since they are much more likely than previous generations to use convenience foods that require minimal preparation. The average Millennial consumes almost one-third fewer meals annually that result in leftovers than adults in their late 30’s and 40’s. A high priority is placed on being able to prepare food quickly, clean up quickly, and not have to deal with the hassle of leftovers.
Out of sight, but perhaps not completely out of mind, Millennials are conscious of their ecological footprint when tossing out their convenient packaging and properly portioned easy meals. Prepared foods sold in cartons are experiencing double digit growth, in part thanks to the benefits this medium boasts over the traditional tin can including the ability to print more engaging designs, their light weight, resealability, and ease of storage. By making the switch from metallic packaging to paper cartons, Millennials feel that they’re choice is benefiting the environment, and with good measure, as cartons have a 70% smaller carbon footprint than cans.