The Snack Hack Series: #1 Self, Society and Planet

Cultural Trends Defining the Millennial Snacker

There are several cultural trends driving this rapid growth in snacking among Millennials. It is imperative for brands to have a firm grasp and understanding of these trends in order to build a solid foundation of growth. 

Self. Society. Planet.

This is the new lens consumers are looking through when making snacking purchases. Every brand must understand what it is doing to improve: 


Consumers ask, how is the food I’m buying enhancing the quality of life for my family or myself? How does it reduce negative impacts on my well-being?


Consumers ask, what good is the company contributing to the broader community it serves? This includes cause programs, employee wages, manufacturing statements, employee policies, community support and more. Great brands are Conscious Capitalists that make a profit while creating value for all stakeholders.


Consumers ask, what good is the company adding to the world in which we live? Conversational efforts are steadily moving beyond what is in products to more eco-social issues such as land practices, animal handling and the management of water, energy and waste. Mintel research confirms that food shoppers are as concerned about food waste as they are about packaging waste. This is because food waste is both a global and personal issue. Food that is eaten rather than thrown out is money well spent rather than wasted.

So, who does this impact? The Center for Food Integrity reports that manufacturers carry the biggest responsibility for delivering in the areas of Self, Society and Planet, followed closely by farmers. In comparison, grocers, restaurants and other food retail stores carry significantly less responsibility.

However, the Millennial generation is the “prove it” generation. These consumers will never take your word at face value. Millennials expect proof of Self, Society and Planet starting at the brand level reaching all the way back to the manufacturer, meaning that it matters throughout the market. For brands to ignore this would be a miss. Instead, they must embrace the new standard that the Millennial generation has implemented. It’s not just about talking the talk; brands must prove how they are having a positive impact on Self, Society and Planet.


Brad is an expert in private label and challenger brand food marketing for Barkley, an integrated marketing and advertising agency. He specializes in working with manufacturing-driven food companies that have aspirations to develop a consumer insight-led strategies to help drive innovation and growth.

Comments are closed.