Millennials Weigh In On What Makes Food Brands Authentic

The Lempert Report
August 16, 2016

Are You Tired Of Hearing About Millennials And Food? Don’t Be!

What Matters To Millennials is a new study from Watershed Communications, which pulls back the curtain on the latest generation’s hot button buzzword “authenticity” and to learn what creates an authentic brand according to these shoppers. 

The report says that as America’s top food and beverage companies lose an estimated $4 billion in market share, the challenge for the industry is trying to digest this dramatic power shift from the “old school” trusting consumers to the new, highly engaged and always questioning, and sometimes distrusting Millennial shopper. 

They found 84 percent of Millennials feel they can easily describe, in one sentence, a food or beverage brand or product they just discovered. Lisa Donoughe, Watershed’s principal and founder warns, “the key takeaway from the study was the speed at which this generation makes up their minds about a brand. This generation is forming opinions about brands from the minute they read about them.” 

In the What Matters study, 100 percent of the Millennials surveyed said they frequently purchase food and beverage brands they list as authentic. The top five most mentioned authentic food and beverage brands (in order) are: Trader Joe’s, Coca-Cola, Kind Bars, Honest Tea and Starbucks. Donoughe says, “Millennials want simplicity and consistency—not just small, indie brands.” 

Based on the research, Watershed found six key pillars for building an authentic brand: compassion, community, customization, co-creation, consistency and conviction. In the world of food and beverage, Millennials are instantaneous decision makers.