November 9, 2015 § Leave a comment
Millennial foodies are the new “tastemakers”. What Millennials want in food today is what the rest of the world will soon be asking for. This savvy generation loves lots of informal celebrations, intense flavor profiles, ethnic cuisines, more natural foods and lots of snacks. Champagnes like Chandon are courting Millennials as an irreverent celebration alternative to their parents’ brands and are designing bottles to fit their occasions.
Restaurants are working hard to cater to millennials as their incomes and spending habits grow. Here are some important facts to understand.
- They eat out more often. 53% of the group goes out to eat once a week, compared with 43% for the general population. They eat out more often in all categories – quick serve, casual dining and fast casual. While they all eat fast food, millennials don’t want to admit to eating it. They are the least likely to recommend fast food to others. Fast casual is their favorite. Millennials compose 51% of fast casual customers.
- They want healthy food which means fresh, less processed and with fewer artificial ingredients.
- They want food that comes from socially responsible companies. Types of companies that they like include those who have principles around fair trade, sustainability and fair wages. Companies that exhibit these qualities include Starbucks and Chipolte.
- They like to support local restaurants. Again this means higher quality food, social ethics, ethnic foods and flavor profiles.
- They want convenience which translates to easy online ordering, stellar apps and rewards programs. Starbucks has scored big with their new app revamp for pick-up orders.
- Sriracha is on everything. It is stocked in 9% of American households and in 16% of those under 35.
- They celebrate a lot. According to CEB Iconoculture, Millennials are celebrating more than just the traditional holidays. Super Bowl Parties, May the 4th Be With You celebrations (for Star Wars fans), and single girls’ gatherings for Valentine’s Day are just a few ways Millennials are celebrating outside of traditional holidays.
- The line between snacks and meals is blurring. According to research by Barkley and BCG, Millennials tend to snack far more than older generations. It is very common for Millennials to regularly have snacks in the mid-morning, mid-afternoon and late at night.
On the alcohol side of things, Chandon reports that 27 percent of adult millennials now choose beer as their favorite alcoholic drink and a lot of that beer is craft beer. But beer consumption is down from 33 percent in 2012, leaving room for other products including vodkas, wines and sparkling wines. Millennials like craft brands and made-for-me brands. Chandon has targeted Millennials with its “celebrate everyday” strategy, moving sparkling wines from only end of year special occasions to everyday occasions. Since Chandon is technically not Champagne since it is from Napa Valley, the wine has become Americanized. Chandon has been able to reimagine how sparkling wine can be consumed—and by whom. Chandon typically sells for a lower price point as well.
But price alone is not enough to lure young adults. They seek an experience. Chandon has given the classic champagne bottle a trendy makeover and creates seasonal designs for its bottles. Last year Chandon put out three limited-edition bottles that are scrawled with the phrases “The Party Starts Here,” “Bring on the Fun,” and “I am the After Party.” Ideally, consumers can pick out the bottle that matches their personality. Their marketing also matches this new look with a heavy dependence on social media using image heavy social platforms like Instagram.
“Any marketer will tell you that it is very difficult to change consumer behavior,” Cristian Yanez, VP of Estate and Wines at Moet Hennessy USA, Chandon’s parent company says. “But with sparkling wine, we’ve found that a simple approach works best. I know it sounds a bit basic, but just giving people another excuse to drink a bottle of sparkling wine is sometimes all we need to do.”
May 13, 2014 § 1 Comment
As I was munching on my McDonald’s salad at my desk today, I started wondering about the fate of lunch in America. I certainly don’t seem to break for lunch as often as I used to. In fact, the phrase lunch hour is even misleading. In a recent study , 48% of employees say that the typical lunch break is 30 minutes or less. And in another study by Staples, 19% of employees say they don’t stop for lunch at all. In 2010, Monster found that more than 20 percent of workers say they always eat lunch at their desks.
The lunch “break” has turned into a time for errands, online shopping, more work and maybe a quick bite. Here are some of the reasons behind these trends.
• The recession spawned a cutback in personal and business spending. And currently the IRS only allows 50% of entertainment expenses. With a focus on productivity, some employees feel pressure to work more and don’t feel they have time for lunch.
• Working women have a lot of tasks to accomplish. Any given day may include errands, online shopping, haircuts and a quick bite. Working moms are 13% more likely to have spent $2500+ on internet purchases, 10% more likely to do their banking online and they own almost every mobile device technology that allows them to shop.
• Lunch hour shopping trends show 84% of moms shop 15 minutes or more a day at work. And most of that shopping happens between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Some 43% of female workers say they did their holiday shopping online while at work, compared to only 35% of male workers. Not surprisingly, 21% of back to school shopping happens online. Woman shoppers use the time as a welcome break from their office routine and would rather shop online than go to a mall.
Some categories have benefitted from this trend. Certainly online shopping of all kinds has prospered. Retailers see rising traffic during the 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. period and some are creating two-hour “stop, drop and shop” promotions during that lunch window. Grocery stores have embraced the trend with more “grab and go” lunch foods. According to market researcher NPD Group, grocers have seen their lunchtime purchases of prepared food like sandwiches and salads jump by 28% since 2008. And fast casual restaurants like Panera and Chipotle provide high quality food options with a lower time commitment. There is also a trend to wanting snacks at all times to tide workers over to dinner time.
In the world of advertising and marketing, the three martini lunches were legend. Gerald Ford said, “The three-martini lunch is the epitome of American efficiency. Where else can you get an earful, a bellyful and a snootful at the same time?” While some still remember those long lost “Mad Men” three martini lunches fondly, in retrospect, they seem indulgent and luxurious. Time might have been the true luxury. Maybe those lunches were not very productive, but they did provide opportunity for marketers and clients to know each other better. Maybe we have traded the martini for the macchiato, but that coffee with a client might be a great time to really talk, listen to each other and share ideas freely. Cheers!
July 18, 2013 § 2 Comments
At this year’s National Restaurant Association, some strong new trends were seen across the trade show floor. Want to see what your local restaurants will be offering soon? Here’s the list on NRA trends and also a What’s Hot list from Chef’s across the country. What you see here is also being replicated in our grocery stores.
2. Tropical flavors. Fruit basket turnover: Passion fruit, guava and especially mango were prominently on display, particularly flavoring iced teas and desserts. Coconut was on many desserts, too, possibly benefiting from the popularity of coconut water.
3. Water. Yes, that’s right. Water is hot (or cold)! It’s zero-calorie “enhanced waters,” fortified with vitamins, water filtration systems, seltzer with splashes of fruit juice, aloe water and just plain bottled water.
4. Iced Tea. Okay, here in the South, it’s always been a trend but today it’s about flavors like “Pacific Raspberry” and “Georgia Peach.”
5. Greek yogurt 2.0. Greek yogurt in everything – Greek yogurt cheesecake, spinach-artichoke dip, mac and cheese, and virtually anything that would otherwise contain mayonnaise or sour cream.
6. Gluten free. Even products that are naturally gluten-free are promoting their freedom!
7. High-tech convenience. Think slow local done fast. One company had a miniature chocolate factory that allowed restaurants to roast, grind and conch their chocolate in-house.
8. Salted caramel. Enough said. Salted caramel pie for everyone!
9. Peruvian. The country of Peru exhibited its wares at the National Restaurant Show for the first time this year, with everything in place to take the world by storm. Our family actually visits Peruvian restaurants in LA where it has been popular for quite some time. Can’t beat an Inca Soda!
10. Superfoods. Show attendees were interested in the healing qualities of cinnamon, turmeric and cayenne pepper; teas were flavored with blueberry, pomegranate and açaí, and fish enjoyed it’s Omega 3 oil qualities.
May 10, 2012 § 3 Comments
Smartphones have crossed the tipping point. According to Nielsen, a majority (50.4%) of U.S. mobile subscribers owned smartphones, up from 47.8 percent in December 2011. And of course women over index the national stat – 50.9 percent of female mobile subscribers carried smartphones in March 2012, compared to 50.1 percent for men.
Smartphones are really the mobile shoppers dream for the following: “Locating a store” (73% vs. 42% for tablets ), “using a shopping list while shopping” (42% vs. 16% for tablets) or “redeeming a mobile coupon” (36% vs. 11% for tablet owners). However, tablet owners are much more likely to use their device for online shopping: 42 percent of tablet owners have “used their device to purchase an item,” compared to just 29 percent of smartphone owners.
For marketers, it is important to understand how our target is using a mobile device so we can tailor messages and design appropriate engagement opportunities.
Pay As You Go Currently we are buying online, but Nielsen points out that soon we will become comfortable with using our smartphones to make payments for items. I can’t wait. ” Just one less thing to worry about,” says Forrest Gump.