Guest Columns

Dairy Marketing

Dairy has unique appeal to millennial moms

Patrick Geoghegan

Patrick Geoghegan is senior vice president, corporate communications, of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. He contributes this column exclusively for Cheese Market News®.

There are few things more powerful than millennial moms. Women ages 18-34 are taking over social media, and doing it with children and a mission in tow — influencing other moms left and right as they spend 60 percent more time on blogs and online parenting communities than the general population.

According to a study by Response Media, nearly 91 percent of moms use social media regularly, and they spend twice as much time online as the rest of the population. While online, moms rely significantly on the online recommendations of other moms, with over half indicating their purchases were influenced by information on social media sites. This is incredibly important because millennial women also tend to control the purse strings in most households, and with millennial parents wielding $200 billion in spending power, it’s nothing to ignore.

When it comes to purchasing for their families, millennial moms have two main characteristics. Unlike their parents’ generation, millennial moms aren’t obsessive bargain hunters looking for deep discounts. They’re willing to spend more for products they deem worth the extra cost, and many other factors are included in their purchase decisions. They often purchase products that make them feel good about themselves, help them stand out and look important. They also are more likely to purchase goods based on recommendations from other moms or have good online reviews.

The other defining characteristic to their purchase patterns is the incredible commitment to buying healthy foods for their families. Their youngsters are a priority and the extra money needed to give them the best quality food is worth it to them. They research the stories behind the products they purchase for their kids, always read food labels and lean toward clean, healthy eating.

This is all good news for those of us in the dairy industry. According to research presented by Madlyn Daley, senior vice president of strategic insights and evaluation at Dairy Management Inc., millennials are health-conscious and aware of what they are putting into their bodies and the bodies of their babies. They want simple, clean and local, and dairy resonates with them.

Last year, Influenster, a product discovery and review website, conducted an online survey with their millennial mom group. They found that 9 out of 10 millennial moms prepare healthy lunch boxes for their children. Of this group of mothers, they prioritize nutrition (88 percent) as their main concern when shopping for food to include in lunch boxes, even above price and convenience — and dairy ranked among their top healthy food choices. In fact, they ranked yogurt (87 percent) and cheese (82 percent) as the top packaged foods they choose for their kids’ lunches.

We have a unique opportunity to tout the health benefits, clean labels and stories behind our cheese and other dairy products to the largest group of influencers with the greatest purchasing power we’ve ever seen.

To reach this attractive audience, we need to continue to promote the nutritional benefits of dairy in a compelling way on packaging and via social media channels. We need to be authentic and helpful in our online connections with millennial moms — developing and sharing content they are likely to share with their communities.

We also need to show them easy ways to incorporate dairy into their busy everyday lives, while also providing inspiration to feed their foodie aspirations. Seventy-six percent of millennials say they like to cook and 89 percent want to get better at cooking. Offering moms recipes and cooking tips online and on packaging supports their lifestyle and can position our dairy products as staples in their everyday lives.

The opportunities with this group are quite strong. Our messages about nutrition, simple ingredients and trends are even stronger. If we are smart about marketing to millennial moms our messages can get even more widely distributed to this powerful group. And that’s good for everyone in the industry.


The views expressed by CMN’s guest columnists are their own opinions and do not necessarily reflect those of Cheese Market News®.

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