With two goals in mind, building beef demand and protecting beef's image, the Beef Checkoff is continuing to focus on consumers' ages, household status, and their interest in both food and nutrition to craft a well-rounded long-range plan for the success of the industry.
At the heart of the plan are Millennials – customers aged 25-34 – who the Checkoff feels will positively impact beef demand.
To better understand the group, the checkoff conducted a study in late 2013 using both qualitative and quantitative methods.
This research included focus groups among 'mature millennials' (ages 25-34 years) to learn more about what really defines these consumers in a face-face setting, along with a survey of 1,250 from this group through online research to gain a perspective on the millennial generation versus non-millennials.
The purpose of the study was to identify the most promising target segments for beef in terms of their attitudes, values, lifestyles and motivations relative to their perceptions of beef.
How millenials stack up against other generations
Millennials eat beef a couple times a week, which is not different than non-millennials, and their reasons for choosing beef are also the same; most, regardless of generation, want a great-tasting meal, value and a food they feel confident preparing.
Both groups of consumers also recognize beef nutrients such as protein and iron, however, B vitamins and zinc are nutrients less associated with beef.
While there are many similarities across generations, there are also a number of clear differences. For example, millennials are more likely to be influencers and want to share their beef eating experiences with others. This group of consumers is eager to learn how to cook better and is very engaged with food.
Importantly, when millennials are disappointed with a meal outcome they are much less likely to try this meal again, which obviously affects their beef eating experience and how willing they are to try new beef recipes.
Although both millennials and non-millennials say that their parents were influential in teaching them to cook, millennials also said they tend to use websites, social media and cooking shows to learn to cook. This generation is also much more tech-savvy and are more inclined to use technology to seek, find and share information.
Launching digital advertising
Focusing on educating all consumers on the nutritional benefits of beef and not losing sight that taste is still the primary driver for beef consumption will help the beef industry reach the target market of both millennials and non-millennials.
As a result of this and other research, the checkoff this month launches a new digitally-delivered consumer advertising campaign aimed at not only capturing the attention of millennials, but inviting them to engage in the beef experience.
Source: Beef Checkoff