Emotional Eating: The Role of Food in Millennials’ Lives
While attitudes around food have been shifting over the past decades, Millennials have permanently altered the way we talk about eating. Their passion has fueled the growth of an entirely new food and beverage category deeply rooted (pun intended!) in heritage and artisanal craft. Richly storied and steeped in authenticity, this back-to-basics mindset has spurred the growth of communities entirely centered in conversations about food. As food culture has become a touchpoint for these communities, the emotional ties to food and beverage brands become stronger—it’s no longer about just what’s on their plates, but the history and experience of the meal.
Food as Social Connection
As much as this generation has embraced constantly swiping right on a dating app, they are also looking for opportunities to connect more personally, through their interests; food is one passion that brings people together. In almost every city and town in America, gourmet and wine groups have become as ubiquitous as book or running clubs. Both men and women are taking cooking classes as a social activity, food bloggers are keeping restauranteurs on their toes, and there are more than 200 million photos on Instagram hashtagged #food. It’s clear that food culture is a phenomenon that’s not going away anytime soon. Brands that embrace the social aspects of food in their marketing and offer opportunities and ideas for consumers to share their experience either in the kitchen or on social media, will connect better with their audience.
Connecting Heritage & Culture
Food has always been a way for people to connect with their culture and traditions. Today, as families are increasingly spread out, food offers a way for consumers to emotionally connect to their heritage. Brands taking an authentic, heritage-first approach to storytelling can engage those who wish to experience their culture through food. While some brands fear this approach may alienate consumers who don’t share that heritage, research shows that Millennials enjoy exploring other cultures through taste. Introducing exotic flavor profiles or introducing culturally unique produce could give your brand an edge.
Food as Entertainment
Even Julia Child, the mother of food-as-entertainment, could not have predicted the explosion of channels dedicated to the pursuit exploring every possible aspect of food. From cooking challenges to the “biggest, best, and weirdest” trends, food has become one of the hottest properties across the media landscape. Inserting your brand into the conversation through YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, Periscope and a multitude of other social media channels can rally your community of foodies.
Establishing a relationship with consumers, particularly food-centric Millennials, can help your brand become top-of-mind. Women’s Marketing is a leader in media strategy, planning and buying with deep experience in understanding of the female consumer’s path-to-purchase. Contact us today to learn how we can help your food and beverage brand develop a digital marketing and social media strategy that consumers will not only “like,” but love.
Sources: NPD Group Generational Patterns in Food and Beverage Consumption, Instagram