Millennial Preconceptions, Part II: Millennials are Principled Consumers

Millennials Pt. 2

There are some incredibly prevalent preconceptions about Millennials, which you are sure to have heard and likely to have used: They have delusions of grandeur. They are entitled and impatient. [Insert your preconception here.]

In this blog series, Charlotte Burgess, Director at C Space EMEA, explores the nuances behind these bold statements and looks at the implications for brands. Each post ends with advice for brands to develop more relevant products, services, and communications for Millennial consumers. Read Part 1.

A prevailing theory about Millennials is that they are eating healthily, cooking from scratch, and buying the freshest ingredients that are locally and ethically sourced.

While it’s true to say that this behaviour exists, what we observe is that it actually depends on the day of the week. The consumption behaviour of young professionals has newly been divided into two phases: week and weekend. Their life goals are different in each, and so their attitude to food changes.

The weekend brings a sense of freedom – it’s all about fun, indulgence, and experience. The working week brings time constraints, focus, and a sense of functionality around eating.

Meet Ella. During the weekdays, food fits around her work and health goals: virtuous, healthy, focused on savings. She is careful to avoid refined sugars, dairy, carbs, and that means that when it comes to the weekend she can break free without a guilty conscience!

On the weekend food becomes a form of social currency, and she loves researching different places to find somewhere new or unusual. If brunch isn’t with friends, it’s a wasted occasion!

Ella is often on Instagam posting things to #Foodporn – an Instagram group with 90m posts.

So planning for the occasion, experiencing it, and then augmenting is all part of the fun. And Ella is constantly looking for new experiences.

A few weeks ago Ella went to the Tick Tack Club in London Bridge – a 1920s themed supper club venue that is transformed in to an immersive experience with all the staff playing different characters. She’s tried Frank’s Café –a car park by day, art exhibition and restaurant by night. Most recently, she went to a gig at a WeWork venue in Southwark, London – the biggest co-working space that’s an office by day, bar and music spot by night.

We are seeing a clear trend as common drinking or eating venues evolve to become more unusual, more memorable, and feed into this desire for new-ness. Indeed, in the UK the pop-up industry is now a major retail sector worth £2.1 billion.

Implications for brands

  • Food and alcohol brands should put the experience front and centre by talking about the versatility of your product, reinventing it, or displaying its benefits in terms of how it will make the consumer see/feel/taste
  • Check out Dojo – a new-age Time Out which classifies food and drinks venues by the type of experience you want to have
  • Young professionals are a growing market, as people are marrying and having kids later, cohabitating with friends and partners longer, and women are working and prioritising their career

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