At 92 million strong, the millennial generation is the largest in U.S history. Currently holding over $600 billion in annual purchasing power, millennials’ buying power is predicted to reach $1.4 trillion annually by 2020 and $11.3 trillion by 2030. Like it or not, millennials are taking over the joint.
And despite popular belief, the majority of millennials are brand loyal. Of 1,300 millennials interviewed by Forbes, “60% said that they are often or always loyal to brands.” As the oldest wave of millennials enters parenthood and the youngest wave of millennials enters adulthood, new buying habits and brand preferences are being formed.
But keep in mind that millennials’ loyalty can’t be purchased with advertising. In fact, they hate advertising, viewing it as inauthentic. A hefty advertising budget isn’t the key to winning the loyalty of millennials.
If you’re an agile small to mid-size brand, this environment gives you a valuable opportunity to steal market share from your larger competitors.
Innovative, effective products that make life easier ultimately win the hearts and minds of millennial shoppers. Millennials reward these products handsomely online with glowing product reviews, social media shares, and YouTube videos, providing valuable data points for a universe of like-minded millennial consumers who turn to reviews when making purchasing decisions. This creates a domino effect that outweighs the effectiveness of traditional advertising.
But, to win the hearts and minds of millennial shoppers, you must first win their eyes.
In addition to being the first digital natives, millennials are also the first flexible packaging natives. As children, sipping juice from a stand-up pouch was standard practice. Since childhood, they’ve witnessed stand-up pouches appearing on shelves packaging everything from soup to nuts (literally).
And millennials—more so than any preceding generation—“adore pouches.” According to Joe Pryweller, senior industry analyst at market research firm Freedonia Group Inc. (freedoniagroup.com), “The millennial generation is not as beholden to traditional packaging. They are looking for new, exciting types of packaging that they can use in their everyday lives.” He refers to the generation’s affinity for pouches as “millennial embrace.”
While pouches aren’t the right package for every product, there are valid reasons that pouches are the fastest growing packaging segment in the U.S. And “millennial embrace” of pouches is one of those reasons.
While there are many brands that have impressive success stories attributed to innovative pouches, there are still untapped product categories that have yet to capitalize on this opportunity. Switching package formats can be a cumbersome process, but for brands looking for new ways to compete, the benefits can far outweigh the pain of change.
One such example of a brand that successfully seized this opportunity is Daisy Brand Sour Cream. In recent years, the company began to offer sour cream in form-fill-seal STANDCAP Pouches. Even though the product inside didn’t change at all, offering the product in an inverted stand-up pouch produced jaw-dropping results. According to Daisy Brand Sour Cream, “Daisy’s new Squeeze item has proven to be 69.7% incremental to our own brand’s sales. Additionally, 18% of the total volume sold is incremental to the sour cream category. The result is expanded sales for both Daisy and our retail partners.”
Why has this package been so successful? The easy-to-use, mess-free package provides no shortage of benefits that appeal to consumers seeking convenience (read: millennials):
- Ready-to-dispense, gravity fed package
- Utensil-free, clean, controlled, drip-free dispensing
- Stable, space-efficient design for easy storage
- Recloseable flip-cap closure with anti-spill SimpliSqueeze® valve
- Lightweight & highly portable for on-the-go consumers & e-commerce packaging
And according to Julie Rice of packaging research firm Package InSight, “Consumer eye-tracking research shows that the STANDCAP Pouch performs significantly better than rigid packaging formats at attracting and keeping shoppers’ attention.”
Another notable benefit of this pouch (and flexible packaging in general) is that it allows consumers to use virtually all of the product inside. Many consumers are frustrated with packaging that doesn’t allow all of the product to be dispensed, but the premade STANDCAP Pouch allows consumers to easily squeeze every last drop from the pouch.
Newly available as a premade pouch, the STANDCAP Pouch is now within reach of more brands than ever before. Glenroy (glenroy.com)—the exclusive pouch converter of the premade STANDCAP Pouch—leverages proprietary VOLPAK converting technology to deliver STANDCAP as a premade pouch, providing brands with a low-cost-of-entry option.
While several market leaders are unwilling to consider converting from “what has always been” to innovative pouches, Daisy Sour Cream is a rare example of a market leader that had the foresight to make a winning bet on flexible packaging—and the results speak for themselves. Market leaders with large investments in existing rigid packaging lines often resist converting to pouches (at least initially). This provides a golden opportunity for small and midsize brands to level the playing field with their larger competitors, by being the first to disrupt the product category with a superior packaging solution.
The premade STANDCAP Pouch is only one example of packaging that is magnetic to millennials. Many innovative, convenient stand-up pouches are providing new ways for Davids to compete with the Goliaths of the marketplace. As millennials’ buying power triples over the next few years, agile companies that embrace the preferences of our nation’s largest generation will be positioned to disrupt the balance of power and gain market share.