4 Surprising Things Getting a Boost From Millennials’ “Natural” Obsession

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

Young consumers’ increasing interest in all things “natural” is moving beyond the expected industries, and giving these four things a major boost…

Millennials' and Gen Z's interest in all things healthy-living is showing no sign of slowing down. Young consumers aren't seeing all fat as the enemy, and for them dieting doesn’t necessarily mean low-cal, instead eating “natural” has become their priority. This preference for “natural,” “clean” ingredients has already made its mark on multiple industries. Once-popular but less-than-healthy foods, of course, were the first to feel the heat. With young consumers not drinking sweet carbonated beverages the way they used to, PepsiCo reports that almost half of its revenue now comes from healthy foods. The brand pledged to cut calories from their sugary drinks but has been moving at a “glacial pace.” Instead, almost half of their revenue is now coming from their “guilt-free” product category, like Baked Lay’s and Naked juices, 25% from “everyday nutrition” like water and healthier snacks, and the brand is admitting soda is “becoming a smaller part of” their future. Young consumers’ preoccupation with health has also caused a yogurt problem for General Mills, where sales in the category have nosedived 15%. The downturn is likely due to the new perspective that sugar, not fat, is the real diet evil—a shift that has caused low-fat and low-cal foods to “fall out of vogue.” (As we predicted.) In more positive, related, news for the brand, organic and natural products have seen “immense growth.”

They're not the only ones who have benefitted from the organic/natural boom. Demand for all-natural, ‘simple’ foods is fueling trends and giving new brands big starts. A recent analysis by delivery service Instacart revealed that foods free “of basically…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“My generation feels entitled and is less willing to put in hard work to get the results they want.”—Female, 17, VA

CoverGirl is getting a marketing makeover to impress Millennials. The brand is changing up their slogan for the first time since 1997, with “Easy, Breezy, Beautiful Covergirl” getting traded for “I Am What I Make Up.” To go along with the new tagline, an inclusive lineup of new CoverGirls will debut the revamped brand—from 69-year-old Maye Musk to pro motorcycle rider Shelina Moreda. Finally, products will be taking on the Less is More trend with “sleeker, more minimal black and white packaging” and a logo to match—a familiar branding makeover move. (Racked)

Riverdale’s recent premiere pulled impressive ratings, especially among young adults—and the show may have Netflix to thank for it. The Archie-remake grew in popularity by 67% from last winter’s premiere and 140% with women under 35. But it gained the most ground with teens, jumping an impressive 467% from last winter’s premiere, making it the most popular show from The CW among teens since The Vampire Diaries in 2012. The show’s presence on Netflix during the off-season may have helped attract young viewers, allowing them to binge the series and get addicted on their time—The Binge Effect at work. (Vulture)

Essential oils are the latest wellness trend to gain traction, appealing to Millennials’ desire to ease anxiety. The most stressed generation to date is turning to little vials of “something between a perfume and a potion” to calm their minds and remedy simple sicknesses. Companies aren’t missing the opportunity to capitalize on the growing demand. Two major brands, Young Living and doTerra, “have more than three million customers apiece, and a billion dollars in annual sales.” (The New Yorker)

The majority of teachers say that life skills are more important to success today than academics. According to research out of the U.K., more than half of teachers believe so-called “’soft’ skills,” including perseverance, the ability to problem-solve, and communicate effectively are more important than “academic knowledge and technical skills.” Unfortunately, institutions often focus on test scores instead of “social and emotional learning, or character.” The good news is groups are pushing for change and “teaching ‘character’ is taking hold everywhere.” (Quartz)

Throw that “Me, Me, Me Generation” stereotype out the window, because Millennials are probably not any more narcissistic than previous generations. (Sorry, Time Magazine.) A report published in Psychological Science compared students from a ‘90s study with students in the 2000s and 2010s and found that today’s youth are “at best” equally as self-involved as young people of the past, and may actually be less narcissistic. The professor who led the study reports, “The kids are all right. There never was a narcissism epidemic, despite what has been claimed.” (Uproxx)

“My love of video games and knowledge of technology and streaming naturally eased me into the world of esports.”—Female, 23, FL

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