A snacking generation: How to target generation XYZ

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A snacking generation: How to target generation XYZ

posted on 11 September, 2017 by

image of couple having potato chips and snacks at a grocery aisleWhen it comes to snacking, not every generation snacks the same. The when, where and what not only depend on our cultural background, social status and location, but are also closely linked to our age. As snack manufacturers bid farewell to the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, generational marketing has emerged as a key strategy to connect with the different mindsets and snacking preferences of each generation. But what exactly is each group looking for?



Adventurous millennials

75% of millennials enjoy experimenting with products from different cultures/countries”[1]
There is no doubt that millennials are by far the most experimental and inquisitive consumer demographic. Expected to make up around 75% of the global workforce by 2051, they’re a group that no snack manufacturer can afford to ignore. Well-connected, media-savvy, information hungry and driven by curiosity, millennials enjoy all things new. Whether it’s a bold new flavour, an exotic ingredient or an unusual packaging format, there are many ways snack manufacturers can grab their attention. However, millennials are also the most demanding and least loyal group of consumers, which means companies have to constantly innovate to keep them interested and engaged. Brands should try and capture consumer excitement with limited edition packs, spark intrigue with in-pack product samples and deliver memorable moments with larger sharing packs that can be enjoyed as a group.



Nostalgic generation X


“Over 45% of consumer between the age of 35 to 55 agree that grocery products from the past are better than those available now” [2]

Contrary to the thrill-seeking millennials, generation X is a lot more focused on comfort, simplicity and familiarity. Driven by the desire to escape their hectic lives and fuelled by a general dissatisfaction with modern consumption, this group seeks snack products that can help them re-live positive memories. Snack manufacturers can appeal to the nostalgic mid-lifers through emotion and sentimentality. Simple recipes, authentic ingredients, classic flavours and retro packaging will enable consumers to re-experience products from the past and allow them to de-stress from everyday life, while reinforcing their connection with a familiar brand.



Healthy baby boomers


image of family members with popcorn“62% of consumers above 55 say that how a product impacts their health and wellness often or always influences their product choice in food” [3]

The proportion of people above the age of 55 is rising steadily across the globe. With an expected combined global spending power of US$15 trillion by 2019,[4] baby boomers are a key demographic that should not be overlooked. Dirven by concerns over their health and wellbeing, older consumers tend to look for products that are healthy, natural, and risk-free and primarily opt for proven brands they know and trust. A lot of older consumers also still associate snacking with an unhealthy treat. In fact, research has shown that only 30% of consumers above the age of 65 disagree with the statement that “snacking between meals is unhealthy”, compared to over 40% between 18 and 24.[5] To change the perception amongst older consumers and convince them of the trustworthy nature of their brand, snack manufacturers should focus on formulating with healthier oils and use only a few simple ingredients, such as ancient grains, which offer extra health benefits. Clear and highly visible on-pack messaging of the ‘better-for-you’ nature of these products will further help the industry to shake off its unhealthy perception amongst this growing group of consumers.

For further market insights, stay tuned for our next blog where we take a closer look at the biggest snacks market in the world – the US.



[1] Global Data TrendSights Analysis: Experimentation (May 2017)

[2] Global Data TrendSights Analysis: Anchoring, Back to basics (September 2016)

[3] Global Data TrendSights Analysis: Aging Populations (June 2017)

[4] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-09-17/aging-boomers-befuddle-marketers-eying-15-trillion-prize

[5] Global Data TrendSights Analysis: Aging Populations (June 2017)