Tips to Market Beef to Millennials

Insights to help stores reach this growing segment of shoppers

The 80 million consumers born between 1980 and 2000 have come to be known as the “Millennial” generation. Because 92% of this population eats beef, stores that specifically target this audience will see their beef sales grow and establish a relationship to score lifelong shopper loyalty

The Beef Checkoff conducted extensive research to understand the spending habits, beef knowledge and cooking comfort of this growing population.

Understanding these 5 key insights will help your stores cater to Millennials:

1. Millennials Balance Costs with Cravings
2. Educate Millennials on Beef Basics
3. Emphasize Beef’s Convenience
4. Increase Millennials’ Comfort with Cooking
5. Reaching the Information Generation

1. Millennials Balance Costs with Cravings

Millennials resist sacrificing foods they love just to cut costs. At the same time, they appreciate (and seek out) a good deal.

  • Millennials are willing to splurge on premium items – including beef– when they know the results will be worth the expense. Help them achieve the optimum flavor and tenderness they desire with recipes and cooking advice.
  • Millennials are significantly less likely than older adults to cut back on steak purchases to save money, at 57% versus 66%.
  • The combination of low prices and ability to buy in bulk is important to Millennials in determining where to shop – more so than for other age groups (17% vs. 11%).

2. Educate Millennials on Beef Basics

Millennials are hungry for information on how to shop for and prepare beef.. Become the go-to resource on beef for these shoppers.

  • Lack of knowledge about beef cuts is the top barrier to purchasing beef, and instead they only buy the same few cuts they are familiar with. But, they also are significantly influenced by information they might find at the meat counter.
  • 58% of Millennials are looking for information on beef’s nutrition and many have misperceptions about beef’s role in an active, healthy lifestyle. Only 25% think beef is a food they can eat every day.
  • These shoppers are driving the need for retailers to be able to answer questions about beef production.
    • 52% seek information on animal welfare and the humane treatment of animals
    • Nearly half want details on how cattle are raised and environmental impact

3. Emphasize Beef’s Convenience

Convenience is their highest priority.

  • Millennials, more than any other generation, wish they could eat a home-cooked meal more often but say they just don’t have the time. The vast majority want in easy beef recipes that take 20 minutes or less to make.
  • These shoppers favor ready-to-eat foods. Almost half say that the beef they buy is already prepared (pre-made burgers, lasagna, etc.).

4. Increase Millennials’ Comfort with Cooking

Millennials’ confidence with beef cookery could use a boost, but they are open to diverse flavors and experimenting. 

  • 80% of Millennial shoppers look for easy beef recipes, but are also looking for new cuisines, flavors and dishes with “wow” factor.
  • They see meals as an opportunity to socialize and entertain with beef. Barbeque-style foods and beef sandwiches are more popular than traditional dishes like pot roast or meatloaf.
  • Millennials are especially interested in casual and simple preparation methods such as grilling, and are looking for easy recipes with bold flavor.
  • More than 50% of Millennials are disappointed with the results when they cook burgers and steaks.
  • Millennials are finding it hard to get the flavor and the tenderness right when cooking beef at home. 61% say they get a poor experience on beef flavor and 62% say tenderness is an issue.

5. Reaching the Information Generation

Millennials are eager to learn. They look for authentic in-person interactions at the meat case and also rely heavily on online resources and recipes.

  • Millennial shoppers tend to use grocery retail as a re-imagined food court. They love to sample a variety of flavors and brands while looking for interaction and information.
  • This demographic is more likely than Boomers to seek advice at the meat counter (24% vs. 7%).
  • Online and mobile resources are a must-have to attract and retain Millennials’ interest. 
    • Print featuring isn’t being used widely – they’re half as likely to use a Sunday newspaper flyer and almost 30% less likely to use a store flyer.
    • Millennial shoppers are 12% more likely to use coupons downloaded to their phones.
    • Millennials look to social media as a source for tips about preparing beef, much more so than other consumer segments

Sources: Millennial Generation and Beef, December 2011; Millennial Generation and Beef, December 2012; Millennial Parents and Beef, December 2012; Millennials and Beef study, 2011; Summer Grilling Study, 2010; Economics and Food Choices Study, June 2011; all funded by The Beef Checkoff; and USA TouchPoints study conducted by Media Behavior, 2013.

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