The Snack Hack Series: #3 Binge Living & Flavor Adventure

Binge Living

Millennials live on the extremes in every aspect of their lives. They will work out every day of the week only to reward themselves
 by happily binge-watching 10 hours of “Game of Thrones” from the couch on the weekend. Or, they may unplug from their social accounts while with friends only to scroll through their Instagram feed for hours later in the day to catch up on what they missed.

This is no different when it comes to snacking.

Living on the extremes means snacking on the extremes and 
this is typically shown in the difference between morning
 and evening snacks. Brands must realize this as they look for innovation opportunities in flavor profiles and portion size, as well as when developing products to meet the emerging needs of a single consumer who partakes in various snacking occasions.


Flavor Adventure

Millennials have a large appetite for adventure and flavor adventures fit within their experience framework. It can create an emotion, inspire a sense of travel or provide an opportunity for exploration. These experiences range in magnitude and price but all have one thing in common: they are not just a commodity that can be packaged and sold on a store shelf. Rather, they enable Millennials to co-create, participate and experience a brand. As brands begin to offer more experiences, consumers begin to capture those moments as another form of currency — experiential currency. This is defined as the non-financial social assets that modern consumers use to determine market worth. The more currency a brand provides, the greater the value. As a result, Millennials’ quest for adventurous flavors is much higher than with previous generations.

While more experimental than other age groups, there is still a range to Millennials’ sense of adventure when snacking. A big contributing factor to the extent of this is the occasion. Flavor adventure tends to shift based on the “who.” Who am I buying this snack for? Who will be eating this snack with me? Or will I be eating it alone?

Millennials tend to take less flavor risks when snacks are being consumed as part of a larger group, especially when children are involved (it’s no myth that kids tend to be picky!). More adventurous flavors are most often reserved for personal consumption or when on-the-go.


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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