Millennials get a bad rap. The so-called 'entitlement generation' are seen as lazy, unreliable and have been blamed for everything from the decline of golf to the downfall of bars of soap. What is often forgotten is that more than 40% of millennials are also parents. While food brands and retailers are busy marketing the latest food trends to trendy millennials, they may be missing out on the massive $200 billion spending power of millennial parents - parents who are more than likely focused on providing healthy meals for their families rather than indulging in avocado on toast. (Or at least creating a balance between the two.)
In reality, it's impossible to group millennials into one definitive category for the purposes of marketing. Is someone who was born in the early 80s is likely to have much in common with someone who was born in the mid-90s? However, research has shown that there are similarities - millennial parents crave authentic, inspiring experiences that add real value to their busy lives.
These statistics provide a vital starting point for food brands and retailers when creating an effective strategy for marketing to millennial parents.
Millennial parents love video
68% of millennial mothers watch videos while cooking. Not only that, but 89% of millennial fathers turn to YouTube for guidance on key parenting topics, including preparing meals. More importantly, millennial parents are overwhelmingly in favour of branded video as long as it provides real value to them. Brands are seen as experts when it comes to important parenting issues, and this extends to the food millennial parents choose to feed their children. That's not to say that millennial parents want to feel like they are being marketed to. The brand should be secondary to how inspiring and useful the content is. Millennial parents are unlikely to share your ad, but they will share your content if they deem it valuable to their friends.
Millennial parents crave healthy, convenient recipe inspiration
8 out of 10 millennial moms use their smartphones while shopping in brick and mortar stores. 51% are in search of relevant recipes. Interestingly, millennial parents order food from a restaurant more often than millennials without children - 90% of millennial parents do it once a week. This suggests that convenience is an important factor when parents are planning meals for their family. The meal kits boom, and the fact that retailers such as Walmart are jumping on board with it also point towards the importance of convenience for millennial parents. Convenience is not the only factor, however, particularly for those on a tight budget. Millennial parents are very focused on healthy eating, and those on a budget will specifically seek out healthy recipe inspiration to cook at home.
Millennial parents have embraced IoT
According to BabyCenter research, 7 out of 10 millennial parents own a connected device, citing "making life easier" and "saving time" as important benefits. Smart speakers, in particular, offer a hands-free experience to parents, which is particularly beneficial in the kitchen. For food brands and retailers, smart speakers and countertop smart screens represent a fresh opportunity to reach and engage with millennial parents via personalised recipe suggestions and useful cooking tips. In fact, more than half of millennial parents trust the content that is served to them on IoT devices if it comes from a trusted brand. Since millennial parents tend to be brand loyal, and brands have yet to fully embrace the marketing potential of smart speakers, now is the time to connect with consumers and foster loyalty in the kitchen.
Millennial parents are more than just parents
Parenting is hard. It takes over your life. For millennial parents, however, it is vital to maintain a life outside parenting. 75% of millennial parents say that they have continued to pursue their personal passions since having their children. This is perhaps the most important statistic of all. Brands that remember that millennial parents are more than just parents may actually offer something truly unique. Retailers have access to huge amounts of data which they use to personalise offers and content. While it makes sense to send millennial parents offers for baby items and family-friendly recipes, it's worth remembering that they have a life outside parenting. Focusing on behavioural data helps brands and retailers understand what interests millennial parents embrace outside of parenting and can help consumers feel more valued as a person rather than a parent.
Marketing to digitally native millennial parents isn't a walk in the park, but in general, they will respond to useful, relatable content that focuses on authenticity over perfection and is tailored to their interests. Since 67% of millennials prefer to shop online rather than in-store, creating a relevant online marketing strategy is more important than ever.