4 Brands Going Zero-Waste For Gen Z & Millennials

From apparel to personal care, indie up-and-comers and big brands alike are cleaning up industries with recyclable alternatives and reusable packaging that appeals to eco-conscious young shoppers…

Young consumers’ interest in helping the environment impacts their purchases. Though their relationship to eco-friendly products is sometimes complicated, they undoubtedly want brands to provide environmentally-friendly products, with half of 13-36-year-olds saying they're more likely to buy a product described as “sustainable,” and 46% of 13-36-year-olds saying they’re more likely to buy a product described as eco-friendly. According to a report from The Shelton Group, nine in ten Millennials are not only more likely to purchase ethical brands but to recommend them to their friends, too.

For these eco-minded young consumers, zero-waste is perhaps the biggest recent buzzword of environmentalism. The plastic straw was a major symbol of this movement last year, with Millennials and Gen Z revolting against plastic by instigating the #StopSucking movement, which aimed to get brands and companies to drop useless plastic straws. Companies as far-reaching as Starbucks, Disney, Hyatt, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, SeaWorld, and more pledged to ditch the plastic straw in response. As zero-waste remains the cause du jour, it has begun influencing their purchasing decisions, and more brands are making massive changes—beyond straw sacrifices—to get closer to a plastic-free future. Here are four who are going zero-waste in a major way to appeal to young consumers:

Trader Joe’s

In response to an online petition, this beloved grocery brand started 2019 with an announcement that they’ll be making “packaging improvements” that will eliminate more than one million pounds of plastic from their stores.…


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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “Retail should be a facilitator for experience, rather than just selling product.”—Sharmandean Reid, Founder, Wah Nails London (YPulse)

Millennials seeking portable booze are cracking open canned wine. Even though the category still only accounts for less than 1% of the Millennial-favorite alcoholic beverages’ market, Nielsen reports it spiked 69% last year and continues to gain ground. An exec at Delicato Family Wines explains, “Millennials have grown up in a world where consuming wine outdoors—or any location outside of the traditional table—is more acceptable than generations past.” (Wine Spectator)

Summer camps are cropping up to teach kids how to become YouTubers. At I-D Tech Camps, Level Up, and Star Camps, kids can learn all about how to, as the latter puts it, “Become an Internet sensation.” They offer courses in how to create and post videos, from shooting clips to editing audio, and how to build their personal brand. But don’t worry, most are framing YouTubing as a hobby, not a career, and setting kids’ expectations accordingly. (WSJ)

A new bill could change the free-to-play profit model that’s made games like Fortnite top earners. Senators have proposed the official ban of “loot boxes,” or items that players can buy (and sometimes must buy) to win a video game, often gambling on what’s inside. Senator Ed Markey explains that “Inherently manipulative game features that take advantage of kids and turn play time into pay time should be out of bounds.” For some, this will eliminate a key revenue stream and open the door to review other in-game purchases.  (The Verge)

A social media overhaul upped Corn Nuts’ sales by 12%—with no paid support.The snack’s sales were stagnant before a new exec took over their Twitter, infusing it with the personable tone food brands have become known for (and sometimes notorious for). Since then, followers spiked from 650 to 21,000, and what they’re calling a “scrappy” strategy “absolutely translated to sales,” reporting that retail sales spiked 12% and Millennials’ repeat purchases rose the same percentage. (Marketing Dive)

The retail apocalypse continues, with 7,000 more stores closing their doors in 2019. CoStar Group estimates that the square footage of retail space closed has topped its own record each year since 2017, and this year they’re “predicting more of the same.” PayLess ShoeSource, Gymboree, Dressbarn, and Charlotte Russe lead the list of number stores planned to shutter this year, as retailers learn to scale down size and up Experiencification for young shoppers. (Business Insider

Quote of the Day: “It’s a really interesting time at the moment in catalog [music]…Sometimes, it’s a question of how we make something out of nothing.”—Tim Fraser-Harding, President, Global Catalogue, Recorded Music at Warner Music Group (Rolling Stone)

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