The Millennial generation is the first generation to grow up with social media. It’s also a highly diverse group that spans the widest age gap. Pro Millennials, the oldest of the Millennial microgenerations, are characterized by their interest in independence and upward mobility, whereas Mid Millennials are more focused on personal growth and seeking fulfillment. Largely due to their younger age, Nouveau Millennials are seeking freedom and experiences.
Gen Z makes up the largest generation globally. Within Gen Z, members of Z Tribe (teenagers and young adults) tend to be driven by material goods and want full control over their identity. Today’s children, Z Alpha, largely have preferences and values that reflect those of their parents, who are making most of the decisions for them. The parents of Z Alpha tend to value autonomy and are trying to instill a sense of balance in their children.
Why Microgenerations Matter So Much in Food and Beverage
In food and beverage, using this “Generation Me” approach of microgenerations to understand and communicate can make all the difference in appealing to and winning loyal consumers. For example, Leading Boomers are more likely to be interested in supplements and functional products for age-related conditions like heart, joint, and brain health, while Neo Boomers are looking to nutrient-rich products for preventive health.
Among Gen Xers, fast and convenient foods are more important to members of Gen Xenos, as they’re more likely to have young kids in the household. While the older Gen XS also appreciate convenient options, healthy foods are a high priority. For Millennials, members of the youngest microgeneration, the Nouveau Millennials, are the most likely to expect personalization options with their food choices, having grown up in an environment that caters to this.
Leveraging Generational Knowledge in the Digital Environment
As brands seek to connect with consumers in the digital environment, similarities within generations become more important. For example, Boomers are known for using computer technology largely for entertainment, whereas Gen Xers use it for convenience. Self-promotion and socialization are key uses for Millennials, while for Gen Z, digital technology is just a natural part of life.