Millennials are driving disruptive trends in the food, beverage and supplement industries, with their desire for transparency, honesty and simplicity, and the ability to get information quickly.

Lori Colman, Sarah Flagg

September 25, 2017

3 Min Read
Millennials View on Supplements, Foods, Beverages

Online shopping is in Millennials’ DNA, resulting in an “I want what I want, and I want it now" approach. Growing up on social media means sharing is a constant. Food and beverages are a favorite subject of discussion. So is health.

Millennials also tend to be forthright and candid, so brands need to earn their trust. Transparency, honesty and simplicity go a long way. So, do treating humans, animals and the earth in general respectfully.

Millennials discover products via blogs and through peer-to-peer content sharing, and want to engage with brands via social networks. They favor companies who support their communities and look at fair trade, sustainability or animal welfare reports. Traditional advertising whether print or online is largely ignored.

Sharing what and when they eat is a Millennial phenomenon. This group largely believes what you eat is an extension of your personality. Millennials are willing to pay for fresh, healthy food and go to great lengths to find it. They love a variety of food and flavors from multiple cultures and engage in distribution channels like meal services and smoothie deliveries. From exploring farmer’s markets to ethnic grocers, finding and making food is an adventure.

Water consumption is popular among this group. Not just plain water, though. Sparkling water, vitamin water and flavored water are all popular. Coffee and tea also score high within this group, while soda is disdained, driving consumption to a 30-year low across the board.

Millennials also conduct an amazing amount of research on supplement brands. It’s all about a clean label and transparency. Sourcing, sustainability and natural are critical.

Learn more market data from Millennial buying habits in INSIDER’s Marketing to Generation Influencers Digital Magazine.

Learn more market data on Millennials from Lori Colman and Sarah Flagg during the How Millennials Are Transforming Modern Marketing Workshop on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 9:00 a.m. at SupplySide West in Las Vegas.

Lori Colman is the founding partner and co-CEO of CBD Marketing ( in Chicago. She has developed brand and marketing strategies for companies in the health and wellness sector for more than two decades. Colman is known for consumer research and insights that drive demand for food, ingredients and dietary supplements, as well as the impact of technology and social media as influencers of choice. A frequent speaker at industry conferences, she has presented at Vitafoods Europe, Food Matters Live in London, the SupplySide shows and other media-sponsored events. Colman graduated from University of Michigan's School of Business.

Sarah Flagg is a senior account executive in the food and ingredients practice at CBD Marketing in Chicago. She is focused on mining data relevant to informing the business goals of the agency's food, ingredient and related clients. At CBD, she works with national B2B and B2C brands, as well as regional, niche marketers. Flagg leverages the company's analytic and software tools to craft insights based on deep dives into public content across a variety of online platforms. Reporting includes brand analysis, regulatory tracking, competitor tracking, new product research, issues tracking, consumer sentiment and more.

About the Author(s)

Sarah Flagg

Sarah is a senior analyst and senior account executive at CBD Marketing in Chicago. She’s also known as the agency’s CMO—Chief Millennial Officer. Her work focuses on mining data to inform business decision-making for the agency’s food and beverage clients.

At CBD, she works with global brands as well as regional and niche marketers. Sarah leverages CBD’s robust analytic and software tools to craft insights and reporting based on deep dives into public content across a variety of platforms: news sites, forums, blogs, social media platforms and other public channels. Reporting includes brand analysis, trend and preference reporting, regulatory tracking, competitor tracking, innovation-new product research, consumer sentiment tracking and much more. It’s a veritable playground of data! Sarah is a graduate of the University of Missouri, School of Journalism.

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