As Boomer parents can attest, Millennials have always been picky eaters. But now their refined pallets have been infused with the social conscience of a Himalayan Yogi. Meet Véa, the hottest trend in bite-sized crackers since the communion wafer. Véa is the newest creation from the snack giant Mondelēz International, whose other notable products include Oreo cookies, Ritz crackers, and Wheat Thins. These multi-ingredient crisps which include flavours such as Peruvian sweet potato, Greek hummus, and an assortment of Tuscan herbs guarantees that everything in your cracker is organically grown and non-genetically modified.
Now at this point, you might be thinking that (1) Peruvian sweet potato sounds flipping fantastic and (2) you wonder if these new flavours are really going to make much of a splash in an already crowded market. Well, the science tells us…probably. A recent study done by Nielsen Research analysed the flavour offerings provided by current players in the snack crisp market. What they found was that consumers, particularly Millennials, enjoyed chip flavours that were both unique yet familiar. In testing 25 new global flavours they found that chips could be categorized along two axes. The first is uniqueness. Uniqueness describes how much the flavour stands out from others in the category, some of the highest uniqueness scores came from flavours including lamb and curry. However, uniqueness is tempered with the second axis, desirability. Desirability is the measure of the likelihood that a consumer wants to actually buy and eat that flavour. Flavours that won out on this axis included potato-brown sugar, black bean, and (to no one’s surprise) avocado. While consumers appreciate uniqueness they are hesitant to go out and try something completely new, so don’t be expecting Ethiopian styled goat neck flavoured chips anytime soon. Consumers are however, likely to try new flavours that are familiar, especially if they are positioned as healthy alternatives. Here we see Mondelēz treading this thin line; offering new yet familiar flavour options (like sweet potatoes from distant Peru) positioning itself as a hip new healthy alternative.
Chief Growth Officer, Tim Cofer claims that Mondelēz has positioned Véa to appeal to the, “on-the-go, well-being-focused millennial consumer – open to discovery, adventure and authenticity.” Today’s Millennial consumer cares just as much about the story behind their food as they do its taste or presentation and this comes through in Véa’s advertising.
Véa’s advertising emphasises the themes of a community, diversity, originality, and healthy living. In one of our previous post about the #selfcare phenomenon, we discussed how Millennials have the highest levels of social connectivity as compared with Boomers and Gen X. Over 85% of Canadian Millennials are on social media for one hour or more every day. The idea of being a part of a larger global community is a concept Millennials have grown up with and their social and information networks regularly span national and ethnic divides. Millennials value authenticity highly and Véa’s brand positioning as a simple ingredient healthy crisp, inspired by ‘the world’ plays very well into that.
Whether Mondelēz’s new foray into the Millennial market will be a success is to be seen. However, their brand is hitting all the right notes to play on Millennial heart strings and if you asked my opinion (the views expressed by the author do not reflect the opinions of Abacus Data or any of its partners) I think the next time you’re at the supermarket you’ll notice a significant number of little beige bags in the carts and baskets of your Millennial shopping compatriots.
Interesting in learning more about how Millennials will affect your business? Contact us, and ask about our Millennial Audit and the other suite of insight tools we offer to keep your organization competitive in the Millennial Marketplace.