How Millennials & Gen Z Are Pushing Brands to Be Zero-Waste

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

From straw-bans to bottle-free products, zero-waste is the cause du jour, and big brands are making sure to stay on young consumers’ good side with new efforts to be eco-friendly…

Plastic is quickly becoming public eco-enemy number one. As put it, “2018 will forever be remembered as the year that hating plastic straws went mainstream.” Lately, it seems you can’t scroll through social media without seeing calls to eliminate plastic waste, with the straw as the top item that public sentiment has turned on. The #StopSucking movement (backed by groups like Strawless Ocean and Lonely Whale) is gaining ground, with celebrities getting on board to call for plastic straw bans, and the use of alternatives to cut down on the reported millions used by Americans daily. And as zero-waste increasingly becomes the cause du jour, big brands are making big public moves to make young consumers feel like they’re part of the solution and not the problem. 

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

So how did we get here? Just last year the idea of eliminating straws was the domain of just the most passionate eco-warrior, and today it’s a major topic of conversation among Millennials and Gen Z—and a gateway to talking about zero-waste, ocean pollution, and other single-use plastic problems. Well, we likely have video to thank for that. Short video content has become a massively influential way of spreading information among young consumers: 68% of 13-17-year-olds and 44% of 18-36-year-olds tell Ypulse that they keep up with news content more via video than text. Many are seeing these videos on social media, and their views are being shaped by them.

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketingJust last month, Lush experienced the power of the viral social video first hand, when a Facebook video highlighting Lush Shampoo Bars’ environmental impact catapulted the product to…


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Quote of the Day:  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.”—Kate McManus, VP of Marketing, Delicato Family Wines (Wine Spectator)

Young consumers are “killing the shopping spree.” Whether they’re signing up for the growing number of clothing subscription services (Rent the Runway, Le Tote, Urban Outfitters, etc.), shopping second-hand, or just culling their closets—young shoppers are quitting fast fashion in droves. Some are inspired by Marie Kondo’s joy-sparking brand of minimalism, while others want to help the environment—and still others are just seeking a wide range of things to wear at a lower price. (Vice)

Airbnb is launching “adventures” for experience-seeking young travelers. The site that started with accommodations and moved into one-off “experiences” (like dinner parties) now offers multi-day excursions, complete with guides, gear, meals, and accommodations. The platform already features over 200 trips in 40 countries, including a tiger-tracking expedition in Kenya and a trek through the canyons of Oman. (Fast Company)

Tyson Foods is taking on the fake meat market with plant-based nuggets. The pea protein nuggets are the first in a line of “Raised & Rooted” products from Tyson Foods. The brand's CEO explains they’re catering to the “growing number of people open to flexible diets that include both meat and plant-based protein”—aka young flexitarians, not full-time vegans. But can a company known for its meat sell the idea that “this [trend] is about ‘and’—not ‘or’”? (The Verge)

Snapchatters can shop Levi’s new Pride Month jacket via selfie filter. The Shoppable feature is first enabled by scanning a QR code found at select stores or by getting a special Snapcode from a friend. Then, users can try on the special-edition trucker jacket via augmented reality, customizing it with one of two washes and a selection of six pins and patches. Once they complete the look, users can purchase the Pride Month Jacket—without ever leaving the app. (SJ)

Amazon’s new Echo Dot Kids Edition revamps the original. The new smart speakertakes many cues from the adult version’s second generation (it’s louder and rounder) but adds special features just for kids that go beyond a rainbow-striped color scheme. The device will come with a year of FreeTime Unlimited, a subscription service that includes popular Alexa skills like Pinkfong’s Baby Shark Adventures, as well as an enhanced parental control suite to address growing privacy concerns. (VarietyCNET)

Quote of the Day: “Young people still have an incredible interest in the Olympic Games…But the way they are consuming the Olympic Games—the type of content they are watching and the ways and the platforms on which they are watching—are fundamentally changing.”—Kit McConnell, Sports Director, International Olympic Committee (Bloomberg)

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