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Millennials Seek the Total Package

The Millennials - New Eco Warriors that cannot be ignored.

Millennials are now the most important group when it comes to consumer spending.[i] While the group takes a lot of criticism for their obsession with technology and constant urge to take selfies, there is no denying they are currently the most powerful generation. With all of that spending power, Millennials think long and hard about where to spend their money and what brands to be loyal to. But what really goes on in the mind of a Millennial before making that purchase? According to recent studies, a companies’ mission and the image perceived by consumers is far more important than price.

Growing up online puts pressure on personal brand influencing purchasing decisions.

Being the generation known for social media fanatics, it is no surprise that image is so important to Millennials. They grew up online exposing themselves to judgement from an early age. Not only are they capable of portraying their own brand online, but they are equally able to browse other brands posing a challenge for companies. In order to capture the hearts and dollars of Millennials, companies need to listen to them and adapt their marketing strategies and potentially even business models.

Here’s what Millennials are saying:

They believe the products they purchase are a direct reflection of them. 50% of millennials age 18-24 agree that, “brands say something about who I am, my values, and where I fit in.”[ii] Millennials feel like taking care of the Earth is their responsibility and it is important their purchases reflect that.[iii] In this mission to create a good personal image, Millennials have become the most sustainable generation to date.[iv] Here are some of characteristics that set them apart:


  • Will pay more for sustainable products
  • Are more likely to take sustainable transportation
  • Say 80% prefer to work for sustainable employers


Simple buzz-words won’t cut it any longer.

Here’s the biggest catch…it takes more than just fancy buzz words like “eco-friendly” to sell Millennials on your product. What about the sourcing of your materials? The multiple levels of your supply chain? And of course, your packaging? These are all important to the largest consumer spending group and the source of the reason sustainability has gone from trendy to expected.

  • Visible sustainable certification is a must. If the packaging does not identify with any sort of environmental mission, it is assumed the company does not either which is even more unappealing to Millennials. But this request for sustainable packaging and labelling is good for both Millennials and the companies. Millennials benefit by keeping their image and companies benefit because 89% of consumers prefer to buy products in packages they know to be recyclable.[v]

  • Labelling your products and packaging is important, but be clear about the environmental impact. Is it compostable? Biodegradable? Made from recycled materials? The buzz words don’t matter to Millennials. The word means nothing if they cannot easily understand the impact of their purchase. Keep it simple.

Sustainability has been promoted from trend to expectation and a new trend is taking over the food industry.

The 2016 Foodservice Packaging Institute reported a large uptick in the grab-and-go sector and meal delivery apps are one of the most watched trends of the food industry this year.[vi] With the introduction of meal delivery apps, some new restaurants are opting out of having dining rooms at all. All of our eyes are eagerly watching the grab-and-go sector as we try to anticipate the innovation food packaging will see as a result.

Why Element works:

Element 100% biodegradable foodware is just what this industry needs. The clear sustainable certification and opportunity to brand the company logo right onto the packaging supports both the brand image of eco-friendly Millennials as well as the company.

For our on-the-go, on-the-phone Millennials, delivery apps are a game changer. And restaurants using meal delivery apps and sustainable packaging can expect to capture the group with the most spending power.


[i]"Talking to Strangers: Millennials Trust People over Brands." Bazaar Voice (n.d.): n. pag. Jan. 2012. Web. 7 Apr. 2017.

[ii]Barton, Christine, Lara Koslow, and Christine Beauchamp. "How Millennials Are Changing the Face of Marketing Forever." N.p., 15 Jan. 2014. Web. 7 Apr. 2017.

[iii] PKG, Kevin Keating at. "The Conversation." 5 Reasons Why Visible Sustainability Matters to Millennial Consumers. N.p., 5 May 2016. Web. 7 Apr. 2017.

[iv] PKG, Kevin Keating at. "The Conversation." 5 Reasons Why Visible Sustainability Matters to Millennial Consumers. N.p., 5 May 2016. Web. 7 Apr. 2017.

[v] 3p Contributor on Wednesday, Jan 7th, 2015. "2015 Sustainable Packaging Trends."Triple Pundit: People, Planet, Profit. N.p., 07 Feb. 2015. Web. 13 Apr. 2017.

[vi] "How Millennials Are Changing Food Packaging." Convenience Store Decisions. N.p., 15 Nov. 2016. Web. 7 Apr. 2017.




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