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Kira Karapetian

By: Kira Karapetian on February 10th, 2017

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Millennials are Forcing Brands and Retailers to Think Differently about Transparency

Company Viewpoint

Millennials are shaking up the CPG industry and forcing brands and retailers alike to start thinking differently about the way they market to and communicate with this generation.

Earlier this week Forbes published an article What Brands Need To Know About Modern Millennial Snack Culture which reiterated this fact. In the article, Jeff Fromm shares how millennials’ prolific love of snacking - four times a day in many cases -  has resulted in the CPG industries strongest growth in four years primarily because of the uptick in sales for snacking brands.

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Millennials Consider Self, Society and Planet

But, their love for snacking isn’t the only revelation. The article reveals that when millennials make purchasing decisions they’re considering more than the traditional drivers of taste, price, and convenience. According to a Snacking Trends Report by FutureCast® and Barkley®, millennials make purchasing decisions based on the tenets of self, society, and planet.

The tenet of “self” loosely translates to “How is the food I am buying enhancing the quality of life for my family or for myself?” and is coupled with a desire for clean, organic, less-processed and few-ingredient product choices. The tenet of “society” asks the question “What good is the company contributing to the broader community it serves?” and includes cause programs such as employee wages, manufacturing standards, employee policies and community support. And the tenet of “planet” asks, “How are brands adding good to the world in which we live?” and looks at eco-social issues including animal handling, land practices and management of water, energy and waste.

Millennials are Looking Beyond the Label

Long story short? Millennials care about far more than what’s on the package label. They want to know what’s going on behind the scenes as much as what’s going into the product. Even in the snack food category. They want to feel good about the brands that they’re buying from, and trust that they will be good and do good.

This seismic shift in purchasing behavior calls for a shift in thinking for brands.

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Brands That Adapt Will Be Rewarded with Loyalty

Brands must share far more in depth information than ever before, in other words, they need to be transparent. Brands who are transparent will be poised to capture this much sought after demographic. Which begs the question, how? Because transparency goes far beyond advertising and mandatory disclosures. Transparency is about sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly, and trusting consumers to make the right decisions for their personal preferences, beliefs and lifestyle. And by doing so, they will gain the trust and loyalty of consumers. Trust is the new currency of brand loyalty, and the path to trust is transparency.

Millennials Prefer the Digital Medium

To be heard, this new level of brand communication must be in the medium preferred by millennials: digital. SmartLabel™, which is quickly becoming the industry standard for for transparency, provides a sustainable and attainable method for brands to begin communicating their “good” to a segment that demands it.

Learn more about how transparency leads to increased brand loyalty and perceived brand worth and how brands can get started with SmartLabel.

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