We are devoting this series of posts to Millennial Snacking starting with general trends and then we will delve into Millennial snacking specifics.
Millennial’s are the generation roughly encompassing 18 years to 35 years of age those who were born from approximately 1980 to 1995. This is the first generation to fully embrace the internet, Smartphone and social media from an early age – and all that the technology and its messaging implies.
The first significant finding we learned about Millennial consumers is that of all generations they are most likely to snack between meals and also tend to eat a variety of snacks during these occasions.
The snacks include yogurts, soups and cereals. For the Millennial, the snacks become meals between meals. Soup is the most popular snack and comprises about 27 percent of all snack foods while cheeses and yogurts fall far below.
In terms of what other generations consider sweets or junk foods, the Millennial male consumer likes cookies and ice cream while females like frozen snacks.
At least one-third of all Millennials interviewed said they snack to facilitate physical activity such as before going to the gym or on a long bike ride. This is in sharp contrast to those 35 and older. This may present an important market to companies in the snack category in the future; snacks with higher protein and supplements made to boost athletic performance.
We also found that Millennials are willing to try a great variety of snack foods whether at home or away from home. They are more adventurous. Where older generations may have their particular snack preferences, Millennials reported eating cookies and cakes, cereal, snack bars and frozen snacks all as snack foods within the six month period when they were interviewed.
These adventurous preferences require a bit more exploration because some the results are surprising. Of all generations tested, 18-34 year olds had the highest preferences for frozen snacks such as pizza rolls and chicken wings; yogurt and meat snacks such as beef jerky. It leads us to the point that marketers and product developers should not make assumptions about this group. Some Millennials may be vegetarians and vegans but many are not.
This wide appeal for snacks led to the conclusion that snack-pack assortments may well appeal to this group with different flavors and snack varieties.
Not surprisingly, this group is the most likely of all generations to walk into a convenience store and buy snack foods. Indeed, of all generations tested, the Millennial generation is the ripest market for new snack products.