Like it or not, your business needs Millennials. It doesn’t matter what type of industry you’re in. Within the next two years, the globe’s latest crop of twenty and thirty-somethings will command more spending power (PDF) than any other generation in history. That means in order to succeed, you’re going to have to learn to cater to this rapidly rising demographic.
But for some small business owners, trying to figure out who Millennials are and what they actually want is a little bit tricky. Of course, the perception of the group as social media savvy and spending most of the day on their smartphones i partially born out by data. But how on earth are brands supposed to capture their attention?
That’s precisely what family-owned snack food provider Lehi Valley Trading Company has set out to discover.
In April, the Arizona-based snack food company celebrated the launch of Snackworthy — a new, budget-friendly line designed to fill a perceived market gap for healthy snacks that provide exceptional value for the money. But after conducting some key market research prior to this year’s launch, the Lehi Valley team made a pivotal decision to build Snackworthy around just one consumer demographic.
You can guess who they settled on.
According to Marketing Director Jacque Taylor, researchers found that Millennials are the perfect consumers for any value brand. Not only are they now America’s most powerful consumer bloc, but when it comes to food, affordability completely guides their buying habits. More important still, Lehi Valley’s research validated widely published anecdotal evidence that appears to suggest Millennials very well may be the most health-conscious generation ever.
“Millennials are more focused on healthy eating, and are shifting more of their spending to organic and natural foods,” Jacque told Small Business Trends.
“So we knew to appeal to Millennials, our value brand could not be another ‘me too’ conventional snack line, but had to offer a ‘better-for-you’ positioning.”
Fortunately, Lehi Valley already had plenty of experience in creating the sort of “better-for-you” snacks that Millennials appear to be seeking out. For over 30 years, the company has produced a wide range of snack foods under multiple brands that have always placed a deep emphasis on healthy eating and natural ingredients.
Yet in order to go all-in for the Millennial generation, the team decided to kick things up a notch with Snackworthy.
The entire brand is built around the claim that each product in the Snackworthy line is “Simply free from 100+ unworthy ingredients”. That lengthy list covers everything from certified colors and high fructose corn syrup to bleached flour and antibiotics.
“Many of the snacks in our line also offer additional nutritional benefits such as being USDA organic, gluten-free, whole grain, zero trans-fat and sodium wise,” Jacque said.
Ingredients aren’t the only element of the Snackworthy line that has been completely designed for Millennials, either. Low retail price points, kraft-style packaging and distribution all feed into the brand’s trendy, health-savvy approach — and it’s all been thoroughly studied and plotted out.
“From primary research data with Millennials, their feedback would indicate that Snackworthy is a compelling brand concept that delivers against Millennials’ need for and want of an authentic, better-for-you snack brand at a value price,” Jacque said.
That research will soon be put to the test as Snackworthy products begin to hit store shelves across the country. But to be honest, success appears more than likely. After all, Snackworthy has only been around for a few months, and its products have already started bagging major retail awards.
And even if the new line is well received, Jacque says that Lehi Valley’s work to build Snackworthy into a formidable brand is only just beginning.
The Importance of Selling to Millennials
“Millennials are now America’s most powerful consumer bloc. Any company in the consumer packaged goods space will need to develop a strategy to meet the specific and unique needs and wants of this important consumer demographic,” Jacque said.
“To gain long-term success for the Snackworthy brand, we must continue to gather consumer feedback, even after the brand launches in market, to insure that we are indeed getting everything right for the target demographic.”
Hipster Photo via Shutterstock
Another thing they appear to be tapping into is the fact that younger consumers don’t cook as much and the convenience of an affordable, yet healthy snack on the go is appealing. I agree that this will likely be a successful product line.
It is good to target millenials as they are big spenders. But there are also other profitable markets out there.