Young Moms Leading Shopping Change
For big brands and retailers, the demanding Yemmie is their worst nightmare. Less loyal than her baby boomer mother, she wants variety, convenience and natural all in one, and marketers are clamoring to keep up.
Boomers, who are both predictable and loyal, spend $15 billion less than they were on supermarket products each year, whereas millennials, whose eating habits are scattered, are spending $50 billion more every year, according to Ad Age.
Brands can no longer appeal to a mass market of consumers who once reliably shopped for the same items at the same places, so well-established companies are designing products from scratch just for these Yemmies.
David Garfield, a managing director at Alix, explained that brands "can't just hedge and try to add a dash of hipness to traditional marketing," so new artisan products are being brought out daily with new buzz words setting the tone for how consumers shop.
Claims of products being "low-in" an ingredient, such as those promoting low salt, or fat, used to be a marketers shoe-in for attracting attention to a product.
Now, Lynn Dornblaser from market research group Mintel, says, "It's more about talking about the presence of positives as opposed to the absence of negatives.
"Consumers are looking for products that make it easy for them to understand what's good about [them].
"That can be communicated in a lot of ways. It could be [the] small number of ingredients, it could be talking about the fruit and vegetable content or talking about the grain content or talking about the protein content."
She added that the packaging word of choice is now "natural" rather than "organic," because "organic equals expensive, and so that is a negative for some consumers."
Kellogg, for example, has a new campaign called "start simple, start right" advertising cereals such as Raisin Bran as being made with "seven ingredients or less."
Lay's potato chips, made from potatoes, oil and salt, also promote "three simple ingredients," while Yoplait just launched Simplait, a yogurt with "just six simple ingredients," and ice-cream brand Haagen-Dazs' Five brand also touts five ingredients.
Gluten-free and natural versions of brands are popping up everywhere to adapt to the rapidly changing food world in America.
Steve Hughes, CEO of General Mills, said, "I don't think people trust what is in the mainstream food chain. I think there is a lot of concern out there."