The Snack Hack Series: #2 Value vs. Values

Proof is required to support any claim being made by brands. This means that everything a brand does must ladder back to the greater purpose the brand delivers within the Self, Society and Planet paradigm. Think about backing every claim in this way with a why:

  1. Policies: What you say
  2. Practices: What you do
  3. Performance: The impact you have
  4. Verification: Your outside authority on monitoring and validating

Once this foundation is built, packaging becomes the key message carrier — emphasizing the good by explaining the benefits and taking out the perceived bad. These stamps of approval save consumers time when digesting the magnitude of possibilities and information at hand.

Millennial consumers are savvy. They have grown up in an age where lower wages have put pressure on the foods — and snacks — they can afford. Our research shows that these savvy Millennials look at every food purchase through a lens of “value” versus “values.” There are some purchase occasions where the value defined by good quality at a good price will do just fine. Private label brands tend to win out with these purchases.

However, that is not enough. Great brands are providing more than just a value benefit, they are aligning with Millennial consumer values — and by values we expressly mean a set of beliefs. When a brand can come in and become a badge that represents the things Millennials care about, it beats the competition that is solely focused on value — and they are willing to pay the premium for those brands.


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.

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